Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans (St. John’s)
Midsummer is usually not called midsummer in Norway, but St. Hans after the evangelist John (called Johannes in Norwegian; Hans is the shortened form). Originally two separate celebrations, they have now – for most people – merged into one.
St. Hans day is the 24th of June every year, and the celebrations are held on St. Hans’ eve – the 23rd. It is not a national holiday – but most people mark it in some way or another. Traditionally celebrated with a huge bonfire, or out on the fjord if you’re lucky enough to have a boat or know someone who does.
Bonfires are set up in many neighbourhoods, and is usually accompanied by a barbecue feast and beers – hot dogs in lompe, with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.
Ice cream for afters (often, the inaccurately named Kroneis (Norway’s cornetto – name translated to 10p-ice cream, but it costs the equivalent to £2).
A typical St. Hans celebrations often includes playing games – here are some of our favourites:
Egg-racing; race each other whilst balancing an egg on a spoon held in your mouth (hardboiling the egg beforehand makes it easier – but it’s more fun when you risk it with a raw one!)