midsummer

June 23 was Sankt Hans Aften (St John’s Eve), which is how the Danes celebrate midsummer.
We were told that it involved a bonfire near the water, plus a speech and song or two. Maybe the burning of a witch effigy, probably some beer. And so, without really knowing what to expect, we went over to the big town of Holbaek to go check it out.

These people are no joke.
The woodpile for the bonfire was the size of a U-Haul truck. Maybe bigger.
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You might not be able to tell from the pics, but it was massive.
And it wasn’t near the water, it was in the water, on a humongous platform.

We got to the park in Holbaek around 8 pm. There were a few mellow hours of folks just hanging out at the park socializing, and a couple of cruise-ship-esque bands playing on a covered stage.

Around 11 pm, everyone trotted over to the slope facing the bonfire. A woman went up to the podium between the flags, and just started speaking. While she spoke, the bonfire was lit. No fanfare, nothing.
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As she kept speaking, the bonfire went berserk.
Then everyone sang a couple of traditional Danish songs.

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Towards the tail end, some fireworks were also set off nearby
almost as an afterthought.
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And that was it!
Simple, and to the point.
Absolutely amazing.

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