10 Traditions Only Danes Can Understand

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Burning the witch

On the 23rd of June, Danes gather in various places around the country to celebrate Midsummer and enjoy one of the shortest nights of the year. Saint John’s Eve, or as it is known in Denmark Sankt Hans Aften, is a feast day in many countries around the world. It’s related to the birth of Saint John the Baptist on the 24th of June. In many countries, locals celebrate St. John’s Eve by lighting big bonfires but in Denmark, a witch stands in effigy on top of the bonfire. According to the Danish tradition, witches fly to Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, so they light fires to keep the bad spirits away. Nowadays, Sankt Hans Aften has become another excuse for Danes to meet with friends and drink beer.

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