So we are pretty much in June and Midsummer is coming up around the corner. It just so happens there was a party for Scandinavian expats yesterday, and we figured out that we should perhaps try to celebrate that Heathen Hedonistic ritual here in Prague. (location not quite certain yet)

This led us to start fairly extensive debate regarding the differences between Swedish Midsommar and Norwegian St. Hans celebrations.

To explain briefly, this is what the Swedes do on Midsommar:

Girls dress up, put flowers in their hair, and starts curtseying the boys by singing and dancing around the Maypole. And then there is heavy consumption of alcohol. Noone really wonders why there are many March births in Sweden...

Clearly, this tradition was started by a girl who wanted a night where she could pick up any guy she wanted, a victory for equality. ;)

This is what Norwegians do for St. Hans:

A bunch of guys come together and clear the rubble from the beaches, then make the biggest bonfire they can. Some of these take weeks to build, and Norwegian beaches are usually quite clean. The "winner" is the guy who makes the biggest bonfire, and everybody know that there will be more girls where the biggest fire is. Then people get drunk and noone really wonders why there are so many births in March in Norway..

Pretty sure this tradition started with a wife wanting to have her husband clear the flotsam so she could sunbathe a bit. Then it developed into a tradition where girls could gauge the mans ability to provide by the size of his.. heh.. phallic bonfire. ;)

Those differences taken into consideration, we decided (like the good multiculturalists we are) that we should combine these traditions of our cultures in the absolutely least harmful way:

The girls promise that they will dance and sing, and the guys will provide a big effing fire, while we all get hammered and have fun bullying eachother with derogatory humor! :)



For further reading and special interest only:

These big bonfires are probably a "civilian" variation of the ancient defensive warning system of Beacons (Varder). For how they worked, check out Fire Lord of the Rings - Lighting of the Beacons.

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