Sankt Hans

We had crazy rain tonight in Copenhagen for Sankt Hans. I resorted to a google search in order to explain why we light a fire on this mid summer evening. I found this in The Local DK:

Although many cultures celebrate Midsummer – the shortest night of the year – with fire, in Denmark the night is infused with customs that harken back to darker and more superstitious times in the country’s history. 

Sankt Hans Aften (St. John’s Eve) takes its name from John the Baptist, who according to Christian tradition was born six months before Jesus. With Christmas celebrated on December 24th in Denmark, that puts John’s birthday on June 24th. The tradition of celebrating the eve of his birthday with a bonfire dates back to the 1600s.