Sankt Hans

Today is Sankt Hans aften in Denmark - or St John's Eve - it is celebrated by burning witches (in effigy!) on bonfires all over the country. There are (sometimes) speeches and people sing. It's really great.

This painting by the painter P.S. Krøyer is a nostalgic representation of Sankt Hans aften for most Danes, I think. It was painted in 1906, so exactly a hundred years ago. Obviously, people don't dress like that anymore and the bonfires look somewhat different as well - notice the absence of a witch! But it's still how we imagine the perfect Sankt Hans evening.

But it's not perfect every year. The first time T came to visit me, was around this time of year and I thought it'd be nice if we went to Skagen (where this painting was painted. It's at the top of Jutland, the main part of Denmark, a very beautiful place.).

Well, it was pouring down most of the day. We went to see a big sand dune before going to Skagen and my trousers got soaked to the skin, so I had to sit in the car and wriggle out of them - luckily I had brought a skirt in case the weather improved. Ha!

And we weren't sure when the bonfire would be lit, so we sat on the beach for what seemed an eternity, and it was so cold. It really was a pretty miserable experience.

But looking back it was quite memorable and I think that place will always be special...

Happy Sankt Hans!

Friday, June 23, 2006 scribbled by Wardi
12:33 PM