St. Hans – Midsummer

Midsummer day simply refers to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on a day between June 21 and June 24, and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. Midsummer is especially important in the cultures of Scandinavia, Estonia and Latvia where it is the most celebrated holiday apart from Christmas.

Bonfire in North West Norway at midnight

European midsummer-related holidays, traditions, and celebrations are pre-Christian in origin. They are particularly important in Northern Europe – SwedenNorwayDenmarkEstoniaFinland,Latvia and Lithuania – but are also found in GermanyIreland, parts of Britain (Cornwall especially), FranceItalyMaltaPortugalSpainUkraine, other parts of Europe, and elsewhere – such asCanada, the United States, Puerto Rico, and also in the Southern Hemisphere (mostly in BrazilArgentina and Australia), where this imported European celebration would be more appropriately called “Midwinter“.

 Aalesund, Norway, largest in the world, build by local boys mostly of pallets, barrels were used in days past.


Sankthanssankt hansjonsok eller midtsommer er en kirkelig høytid til minne om døperen Johannes‘ fødsel. Dagen feires den 24. juni og er oppkalt etter døperen Johannes’ danske helgennavn, St. Hans. Dagen var helligdag inntil 1770 da den ble avskaffet ved festdagsreduksjonen. «Jonsok» kommer av jónsvaka, som er norrønt og betyr «våkenatt for Jon» (en annen variant av Johannes). Sankthansaften feires 23. juni, kvelden før høytidsdagen, på samme måte som for eksempel jul-, påske- og pinseaften.

Midsummer celebrated as Jonsok or St.Hans, on June 21st to 24th.

As kids, it was equal to Christmas.

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