Scandinavia and the World
Burn the Witch

Burn the Witch

In the north we love to celebrate the midsummer, though we do it in slightly different ways. :D

Sweden is well known for their midsummer parties, where they drink, eat, sing and dance around the maypole (a pole decorated with flowers and ribbons). A wonderfully peaceful tradition that can be seen her.

However, in Norway and Denmark (and a couple of other countries) we prefer to celebrate it with LOTS AND LOTS OF FIRE!!! Or as we like to call it, Sankt Hans bonfires.

Some places in Norway they build HUGE bonfires. I’ve even seen pictures of them burning down houses and claiming it to be a Sankt Hans bonfire.

In Denmark we haven’t gone to such extremes. We get our morbid jollies by putting a witch doll made of wood, hay, old cloth and filled with firecrackers on the fire, and then cheer when the firecrackers goes off, making it sound like she’s screaming. So wonderfully politically incorrect.

And we will burn that witch no matter where we are. While looking for a good video of a Sankt Hans bonfire I found at least four of Danes burning wooden witches while confused Americans looked on. This is the cutest witch burning I have ever seen. :D

4th October 2009

Tagged in Finland Norway Sweden Denmark

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29 M
11 days ago #9398413        



... and Canadians just use it as a new reason to drink a lot.

17 days ago #9396523        



As you see "Finns" has been in the Viking time "Witchs or Wizards". So, it is not surprise that Sister Finland is still "Fire resistance 100%" :)

Witchcraft in the Orkney Islands

"Sure these are but imaginary wiles,
And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.”
William Shakespeare - The Comedy of Errors

"Traditionally the first "witches" in the islands were said to have been "Finns".
"The Finns were powerful sorcerers with renowned healing abilities, as well as power over the weather and sea. In most cases, they were regarded as benign - precursors of the later island wise-women. "
"The Finns were so ingrained into the folklore of Orkney that up until the early years of the 20th century, the appellation "Finn" was often attached to anyone known to , or suspected of, practising "granderie" - e.g. the Sanday witch, Baabie Finn."
"Over time, however, the lore surrounding the Finns developed - or merged with an existing tradition - into the dreaded Finfolk and selkie-folk of sea-lore. This change probably coincided with the "demonisation" of these wise-women's arts. "


37 M
20 days ago #9395365        



Sister Finland - Fire resistance: 100% :D

27 days ago #9393075        



Danelaw you are correct. The Swedish maypole is shaped like a cross with two cricles hanging on either side of the horizontal pole.

As for why? Some believe it's a phallus symbol, some say its current shape came from Christian influences. The wikipedia page wasn't very informative.

1 month ago #9390068        



The only bonfire we have in Ireland is during Halloween, I believe.

1 month ago #9388466        



I thought Swedish maypoles were a pair wreaths suspended on either side of a pole. (Why?)


20 M
2 months ago #9377817        



Sweden likes fire, too. Just alot bigger!

During Valborgsmässoafton 30th april - 1th may (Walpurgis Night)
we light massive bonfires and watch it burn while dancing and drinking!

Picture of a traditional bonfire during 1th may (Majbrasa)

2 months ago #9376486        



@FreezyFreeFire She's fresh from sauna and gives zero f*ks about their little bonfire?

Also why is Norway licking the fish?!?


576 M
2 months ago #9373527        



Yes, I've been to a Sankt Hans bonfire during my stay in Copenhagen, it was fun! The fire itself wasn't exactly impressive, it was barely higher than a human. But the festivities around it were fun!

3 months ago #9360070        



Well we never forgot our pagan ways. We just renamed the traditions and kept on going :P

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