If you’ve lived in Denmark for at least a year, you’ll probably think of a massive bonfire, a big dinner and heaps of beer when someone mentions Sankt Hans. But why do we celebrate this day and what’s with the bonfire?
John the Baptist (Hans in these parts), Jesus’s cousin apparently, was born on June 24 – hence the reason for celebration on the night before.
Others claim it is a celebration of the longest day of the year, Midsummer on June 21, which means we get to enjoy 17 and a half hours of light.
Traditionally the bonfire keeps away evil spirits, although the witch most Danes put on the bonfire is a new addition.
Read on for a few recommendations for where to enjoy Sankt Hans this year.
If you are as big a fan of ‘Bryggen’ as many Danes are, their bonfire (Islands Brygge 18, Cph S) is a must-see. The bonfire is lit at 21:15, with events starting at 17:00.
Frederiksberg Have provides a beautiful backdrop for the bonfire, which is lit at 21:45, with a program for the little-ones from 18:00.
A perhaps less traditional place to celebrate is Tivoli, which lights a bonfire on its lake at 21:30. But bear in mind you have to pay a 99kr entry.
If you prefer the sea, opt for a beach celebration. At Svanemøllen (Sejlklubben Sundet, Svaneknoppen 2, Cph Ø), where there will be a picnic and a bonfire on the water at 22:00, while Amagerstand (Amager Strandvej, Strandstation 3, Cph S) offers music, food and a bonfire from 18:00-22:00.
SKT Hans Aften
various locations; Tue June 23