Burning the witch2
June 24, 2013 by Matt
Last night saw the masses stay out late into the evening to celebrate St. Hans. You may have heard of him as John the Baptist, and the date (June 23rd) is more commonly associated with the summer solstice where I’m from (though in the UK that would normally be held on June 21st).
The long and short of it was that it was another example of Danes embracing any excuse to be outdoors, and also another example of my enthusiasm for welcoming that behaviour much more than I ever did in London. We opted to watch the celebratory bonfire with its burning witch effigy on Islands Brygge, so we had the pleasure of the water too. Picnic blankets, wine, snacks, a mostly rain-free few hours, and daylight well beyond 10pm all followed. A smashing evening and one to look forward to next year.
Nice. Did you see the witch fly when her skirts caught fire? One of the weirder things about burning witches Skt. Hans style is that it doesn’t work. The Danes build the fire and mount the witch so she flies away as the first flames lick her stripy ankle socks. All very humane…
Oh ours went up in flames! We all had suspicions that the organisers had been liberal with their application of petrol or the like (probably out of fear of the rain’s negative affect) so the whole thing went off without a hitch.