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Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans Eve

June 16, 2016 | Leave a comment

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.

sthans-norge-midsummer-norway


 

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.

    Per i Viken Wienerkorv – Wiener Sausages 8-pack
    £4.00
    - +
    Korvbrödsbagarn Korvbröd – Hotdog Buns 10-pack
    £2.00
    - +
    Idun Tomatketchup – Tomato Ketchup 530g
    £3.00
    - +
    Idun Pølsesennep – Mustard 490g
    £3.00
    - +
    Bjørken Lomper 10-pack – Soft Potato Flatbread 260g
    £2.15
    - +
    Bähncke Ristede Løg – Crispy Onions 100g
    £1.50
    - +

 

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).

kroneis midsummer norway

 


 

 

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!)

Egg race Norway

Helmet and protective glasses optional.


Sack-race, individual and in relay teams – 
Racing each other by attempting to jump a (straight) distance in sacks. Also popular on 17. mai;

Sack race - sekkelop norway

A LOT harder than it looks. Face-plant almost guaranteed.


Three-legged race – 
We’re not sure exactly how popular this is (outside yours truly’s childhood neighbourhood) – but nevertheless super fun.
Rules: Find a partner. Tie your right leg to their left leg (or the other way around) so you have to move as if you were one person with three legs. Confused? Good. Race against others with the same set-up. It is fun, we promise.
Three-legged race Noreway midsummer

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