Flaming celebration throughout the weekend

Slinningsbålet in Ålesund.Photo: Halvard Alvik / NTB scanpix

This past weekend, the sankhansbølen (Midsummer Night Celebrations) was lit up all over the country. At Slinningsodden in Ålesund, the fire was 38 meters high, and the queen attended the event.

Big bonfire by the sea, fjord and waters all over the country, burned this saint’s weekend. The meteorologists had promised perfect weather, which also came to many places.

But in Ålesund, however, it was a damp Saturday, where the traditional fire at Slinningsodden, known as the Slinningsballt, was lit. The Queen attended this year’s bonfire burning from the royal ship Norway.

“This was very big. It is not every day we meet the queen,” says Mathias Haga, one of the bosses, to Sunnmørsposten Sunday.

He also says that the queen was impressed by the work for the fire. The youngest of the bonfire builders was 13 years old and most are between 16 to 18 years old. But according to the builders of the fire, the recruitment to build the fire is so critical that next year there is a danger that there will be no fire at all.

Sankthans – or St. Hans – is commemorated in memory of John the Baptist’s birth on June 24. Sunday evening is celebrated the night before.

The celebration is linked by many to being more popular than ecclesiastical traditions, which may come from the fact that the sabbatical celebration has taken over for older traditions for midsummer and pagan midsummer. Sankthans is also known as jonsok.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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