Sankt Hans Aften

Saturday Jun 21, 2014
Museum of Danish America
2212 Washington St.
Elk Horn
www.danishmuseum.org
media@danishmuseum.org


Event Phone: 712.764.7001
Before Christianity came to Denmark, Scandinavian people celebrated the longest day as a supernatural struggle between light and dark, heat and cold. Since the feast day of Saint John the Baptist occurred on June 23rd, near the date of the annual summer solstice, the Christian Church emphasized this celebration in Scandinavia. “Hans” is the diminutive of “Johannes” or “John.” Today it’s a very good excuse to stay up late, have fun and light bonfires.

Over time, the tradition of lighting bonfires became dominant and other rituals gradually withered away as people enjoyed the coziness of gathering around a warm fire. Songs and music are a part of this tradition, which during the 19th century the singing of traditional folk songs were replaced by patriotic songs.
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