event Calendar

southern california United States (los angeles, san diego)

    • August 10, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • August 14, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • Elverhøj Museum of History and Art - Solvang, CA

    VIRTUAL EXHIBIT - THE ART OF FACE MASKS

    The face mask has become a symbol of our times, an emblem to illustrate the COVID-19 contagion. It is also a signal of caring and a gesture of community amidst the upheaval of our daily life. When history looks back on the pandemic of 2020, these rectangles that hide the mouth and nose will be what we see.

    This virtual exhibition reunites a creative group of artists that participated in “The Art of Dress” exhibition in 2019.  Now these artists tackle the role of the face mask as a form of art and self-expression. Hand-dyed fabrics, various styles, a range of techniques, and conceptual thinking are employed in these one-of-a-kind functional objects.

    View The Exhibit




    Elverhøj Museum of History and Art
    1624 Elverhoy Way
    Solvang, CA 93463

    Telephone - (805) 686-1211 
    Emailinfo@elverhoj.org

    Elverhøj Website

    Elverhøj Facebook

    • August 12, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • August 28, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • Danish Sisterhood of America

    DANISH SISTERHOOD OF AMERICA 
    Recommendations during COVID-19 Pandemic

    July 24, 2020

    Dear members, friends and lodge leaders of the Danish Sisterhood of America,

    In this time of global concern about the spread of COVID-19 and based on recommendations and information from the CDC (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention), state and local agencies, the Danish Sisterhood’s main focus is to protect our members and limit the spread of COVID-19. It is critical that we continue to protect the health and well-being of our communities and work to not overwhelm our health care system.

    Local lodges are urged to suspend gatherings and events until your local health department and leaders recommend in-person meetings. As we mentioned earlier this year, if your district convention is cancelled and your lodge will incur a cancellation fee, please contact a member of the National Board.

    We encourage you to reach out to your Sisters. Use video calls and video conference technology such as Zoom to hold your monthly gatherings. A number of our lodges have are successfully using Zoom and finding they are able to enjoy the participation of members from far away. Reach out to your National Board if you have not yet tried Zoom and are curious.

    The Supreme Lodge recognizes that many of our members fall within the high risk category established by the CDC.

    The entire board urges you to continue to take the necessary precautions and stay safe and healthy.

    Christina Sallee, National President

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on news and events within the Danish Sisterhood.

    Danish Sisterhood Website


    • August 12, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • December 30, 2020
    • (CST)
    • 41 sessions
    • Online Concerts

    JESSICA LYNNE

    Online Concerts on Facebook

    Tour and Tickets

    My story is not ordinary. I feel pretty ordinary, on the inside. But when I tell people where I come from and how I got here, it usually stirs up a gasp or two. My official story simply states that I grew up in Denmark and now live in the Pacific Northwest, but there is much more to it than that. So I decided to tell it. 

    My childhood was spent divided on three different continents. Strangest of all, I was born in South America. Valdivia, Chile to be exact. My parents were missionaries, but soon after my arrival, they decided to move back to the US. I was 6 months old. Needless to say, I don't remember anything from Chile at all. I ended up with dual citizenship - but not a Chilean one, as you might think, but a Danish/American citizenship. 

    My parents met in New York. My mom, from a small town of Sejlflod in Jylland, Denmark. My Dad from the Pacific Northwest. So when they decided, with 6 months old me in their arms to move back to the US, they settled on Tacoma, WA. Kind of fortuitous that my journey should lead me back here - only about 10 blocks away from my first American home. But that's for a later chapter. 

    My parents divorced when I was three and my mother decided to move us, three girls, to Denmark. First Skanderborg, then what I now consider my hometown, Haslev. This is where I went to school, where I had friends, where I learned about life, and love and longing. This is where I grew up. If you can call yourself a "grown-up" at 17; that's when I moved away from home. 
    I then became what I would call a "Copenhagen nomade" moving almost 25 times in the 13 or so years I lived there, interrupted only by a 2-year stint in Barcelona - also a story for another chapter.

    I finally up-rooted, if I ever had roots, and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 when I was 31.

    And that's the short, cliff notes version story. But that's not really how I want to tell it. I want to tell my story by delving into how that story made me, me. What it was like, being a part of two worlds, and what sometimes felt like not being a part of anything at all. Feeling like an outsider for all the wrong reasons, trying so hard to belong, but not feeling like I belonged at all.
    As a child, I would spend the entire year going to school and living my life in Haslev and every other summer I would visit my Dad in Seattle. The alternating summers, he would visit us. I spoke (and still do speak) both languages fluently... mostly without an accent in either language. My dad would call every week long-distance to keep in touch with us girls. And in the '80s that was not cheap! My mom, even though she is 100% Dane, would make traditional Danish cooking right alongside fried chicken and cornbread. I felt the duality every day. 

    Consequently, it somehow made me feel divided. Instead of belonging everywhere, I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. 
    I suppose, with a different outlook on life, this duality could have made me feel abundant, like a citizen of the world, who had many homes. But my upbringing in so many ways nourished lack and dependence. And it made me feel stretched too thin. I was too American to be Danish and too Danish to be American. So I was, effectively, neither.

    Every time I came back to Denmark I would miss the US terribly. But it was never actually true the other way around. This only occurred to me when I finally moved here, that the homesickness I would feel for the US when gone, never set in for Denmark. Yes, I missed my family, but not the culture, not the place itself. 

    In reality, moving to the US clarified a lot of things for me. I have always been more American than Danish, I know that now. I've been loud, brazen, and always had big dreams and big gestures. Not in any way the proper little girl my mother tried to raise me to be. I had a terrible temper, that felt uncontrollable at times and a big voice that was repeatedly told to not shine too brightly, not to make the other kids feel bad. 

    This may seem harsh, but anyone from Denmark would notice this as "Janteloven" or "The Law of Jante" - a culturally-induced oppression that the Danes all know too well. Again, this is a phenomenon I will explain in depth in another chapter. Suffice it to say, it's a classic "crabs in a bucket" syndrome. When one tries to climb out the others will pull it back down.

    So I suppose I was not entirely caught in the middle. I sometimes describe myself as "half-and-half", with a chuckle. But that doesn't really describe me. In reality, I am more like 75/25. In the last ten years, I have learned to embrace my Danish roots, while also fully encompassing how American I really am. Immigrant heritage and all. 

    In truth, it probably doesn't matter what continent we are on. Denmark for me was a time in my life when I tried to hide who I truly was, in order to try and fit in. It was a time of listening to others over my own intuition, my inner voice. It was a time of not being and owning who I truly am and what my life's purpose is. The US for me has been the journey of fully growing into my true self. A journey of growth and self-exploration. Of owning all sides of me, even the ones I don't necessarily like. And most importantly listening to my own truth rather than what others say. It's not about Denmark and it's not about the US. It's about what each country represents to me and who I became during each timeframe I spent there. 

    I can now look at being "half-and-half" and feel grateful that I was blessed with so much diversity. And I can own my big voice and my larger than life attitude and put myself on a stage and feel right at home. But I can also remember where I came from, and what is truly important in life. Love of family, love of friends and most importantly, self-love.
    • August 14, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • American-Scandinavian Foundation - New York, NY

    ASF TRANSLATION AWARDS

    Application Deadline: Extended - September 15, 2020

    The American-Scandinavian Foundation annually awards three translation prizes for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a Scandinavian author born after 1900.

    Submission Information
    Entry deadline:
    September 15

    The Nadia Christensen Prize includes a $2,500 award, publication of an excerpt in Scandinavian Review, and a commemorative bronze medallion.

    The Leif and Inger Sjöberg Award, given to an individual whose literature translations from a Nordic language have not previously been published, includes a $2,000 award, publication of an excerpt in Scandinavian Review, and a commemorative bronze medallion.

    The Wigeland Prize, given to the best translation by a Norwegian, includes a $2,000 award, publication of an excerpt in Scandinavian Review, and a commemorative bronze medallion.

    —Apply Now!

    Rules

    1. The prizes are for outstanding English translations of poetry, fiction, drama or literary prose originally written in a Nordic language.
    2. If prose, manuscripts must be no longer than 50 pages; if poetry, 25 (Do not exceed these limits). Manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced with numbered pages.
    3. Translations must be from the writing of one author, although not necessarily from a single work. Please include a one-paragraph description about the author.
    4. An entry must consist of:
      • One copy of the translation, including a title page and a table of contents for the proposed book of which the manuscript submitted is a part. 
      • One copy of the work(s) in the original language; please send the relevant pages.
      • A CV containing all contact information, including email address, for the translator; and
      • A letter or other document signed by the author, the author’s agent or the author’s estate granting permission for the translation to be entered in this competition and published in Scandinavian Review.
    1. Translator’s names may not appear on any page of their manuscripts, including the title page.
    2. The translation submitted in the competition may not have been previously published in the English language by the submission deadline.
      (If the translation being submitted to this competition is also under consideration by a publisher, you must inform us of the expected publication date.)
    3. Translators may submit one entry only and may not submit the same entry in more than two competitions.
    4. The Translation Prize cannot be won more than three times by the same translator.
    Previous ASF Translation Prize Opening and Winners.pdf

    INFO@AMSCAN.ORG
    SCANDINAVIAHOUSE.ORG
    AMSCAN.ORG

    • August 14, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • December 11, 2020
    • (PST)
    • 5 sessions
    • "Hulen" - Monrovia, CA

    REGULAR MEETING

    May 26 Update - 

    Here in So. Cal. we are still waiting for the LA County health Department to open up for Get-Togethers.

    Singing our dear old songs might not be allowed, unless a face mask is covering your mouth, as the concern is, that singing, spreads droplets from your mouth, and could cause Covid-19 trouble.

    Of course, if you are concerned about the Virus, you should stay home.

    Below 2019 photo of the LA Naver picnic area.


    Normal Schedule - 

    5:00 Social
    6:30 Dinner

    Naverne is an old organization for well-traveled journeymen from Scandinavia, with clubs in many countries, also in the USA and Canada.  The website has moved to: www.Naverne-CUK.dk. The site is now located at: www.naverne.com/web - but you can go directly to the LA website by using: Click on USA, Los Angeles home page for more information and a contact person. We meet every 2ndFriday of the month at 5:30 pm, in our Club House in Monrovia.The Naverettes is an associated ladies organization, meeting 2ndWednesday every month, ask for Bodil Olsen.

    May 2020 Newsletter

    April 2020 Newsletter
    March 2020 Newsletter
    February 2020 Newsletter

    The Los Angeles Naver Club
    "Hulen"
    616 Norumbega Road
    Monrovia, CA 91016

    Telephone - Arne Olsen 949-456-3711
    arneblan@pacbell.net

    Naver Club Site on NFDA

    • August 15, 2020
    • (EDT)
    • September 26, 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 7 sessions
    • Online - Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center New York

    HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN STORYTELLING CENTER ONLINE

    SATURDAY MORNING HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN STORYTELLING GOES VIRTUAL

    A SIXTY FOUR YEAR NEW YORK TRADITION PREVAILS

    HCA Storytelling Online 

    Saturday Mornings from 11 am to Noon (Eastern Time)
    Storytellers from throughout the world tell Andersen’s iconic stories
    From Central Park to Your Home anywhere in the world 

    This year the Hans Christian Andersen Story Telling Center, Inc. (“HCASTC”)  is proud to launch a 2020 Live On-line Season starting on May 30th.   World renowned New York storyteller and artistic director of the HCASTC, Laura Simms,  has curated a season of stories told by the  best  storytellers from across the globe.  Different Andersen stories will be told every week. 

    Click Here for the Complete Schedule

    Hans Christian Andersen’s stories are the  most translated literature next to the Bible.   His stories, penned in the nineteenth Century, have been delighting audiences worldwide since. They  were created as commentaries for social injustice and inequality.  They remain  contemporary  and thrill children and adults alike with their array of fabulous characters including the Ugly Duckling who overcomes bullying and the Emperor Without Clothes whose vanity and idiocy is exposed by a child.  Kindness, humor, and the power of imagination and truth prevails. 

    If you are looking for something wonderful and valuable to share with your family in these times, join us for live performances on Saturdays at 11 a.m. straight to your kitchen or living room or garden. Recorded The link for our live performance will be on our website shortly. performances will subsequently be made available on our YouTube channel and on Facebook. Our website will also have those links. The program will continue through the end of September. If social distancing rules permit, live performances may be resumed in Central Park later during the season. Stories have always been the most brilliant and engaging way to start a great conversation.   Let the tale of the Nightingale about authenticity and real communication lift your spirits.  The poignant  tales of The Last Pearl and The Little Match Girl soothe your heart. And laugh out loud with the tales of Jack, The Dullard and the Swineherd. We will have mornings of Andersen’s longer irresistible tales of the Snow Queen (the real story behind Frozen), The Wild Swans, or The Little Mermaid. 

    Storytelling is entertaining. It is also life confirming. It keeps imagination and faith alive.  Technology has helped us immensely through this time, but put away the laptop when the story is over and talk together about the stories.  Tell your own. And keep up a tradition that has been ongoing for 64 years.  

    There is a restorative power in storytelling. The most experienced and wonderful storytellers will support a sense of inner safety while exploring profound resolutions to emotional experiences. Research has shown that listening to stories helps increase empathy and navigate challenging times. AND it improves the ability to  feel closer to one another by building connection among  people.  Let’s strengthen our sense of being one global  community. 

    What better time in which to shrink  physical distances and join us mind to mind across the world.

    HCASTC has been freely delivering stories to New Yorkers of all ages since 1956, rain or shine from its signature location at the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park (72nd Street and 5th Avenue). We bring stories, and the Park  into your home. 

    HCASTC is a nonprofit organization that, aside from its historical site, has been bringing storytelling projects in schools, and is partnering with the Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, hometown of the author, HCASTC is supported by private donors, contributions from listeners,  and the Parks Department of New York City. For the last 64 years it has been proudly offering spoken word performances that gathered thousands of families throughout the summer months. This is still today kept as a gift: an open invitation for us all to meet in the spirit of Andersen’s love for justice, children and literature.

    For detailed information, please visit our website at http://www.hcastorycenter.org

     

    • August 16, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • December 27, 2020
    • (PST)
    • 20 sessions
    • Danish Lutheran Church - Yorba Linda, CA

    11:00AM SUNDAY SERVICE LIVESTREAM

     Enjoy our weekly the live-streamed service on our Facebook Page.

    Read this message from the Church Council and Pastor regarding Coronavirus Precautions.


    Danish Lutheran Church and Cultural Center
    16881 Bastanchury Road
    Yorba Linda, CA 92886

    Telephone - (714) 993-6362
    Emailinfo@danishchurchsocal.com

    Website

    Facebook



    • August 17, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • April 19, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • "Hulen" - Monrovia, CA

    DANISH LUNCH CLUB - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    May 26 Update - 

    Here in So. Cal. we are still waiting for the LA County health Department to open up for Get-Togethers.

    Singing our dear old songs might not be allowed, unless a face mask is covering your mouth, as the concern is, that singing, spreads droplets from your mouth, and could cause Covid-19 trouble.

    The following Danish Clubs might be able, to have a limited outside social picnic in June, with a 6 ft. spacing.

    The Danish Soldiers Club, The LA Naver Club, The Danish Brotherhood and the Danish Frokost Club.

    Of course, if you are concerned about the Virus, you should stay home.

    Below 2019 photo of the LA Naver picnic area.


    Lunch and Meeting

    "Hulen"
    616 Norumbega Road
    Monrovia, CA. 91016

    Webdanishnatlcomm@gmail.com 
    Emailarneblan@pacbell.net

    • August 19, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • August 21, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • Danebod Folk School - Tyler, MN

    VIRTUAL EVENT - 74th ANNUAL DANEBOD FOLK MEETING

    Danebod Website

    Due to the COVID-19 virus the Danebod campus in Tyler, MN is closed for the summer 2020.

    The 2020 Danebod Folk Meeting will be an on-line activity affirming the joy of living through enlightenment. The meeting will feature music, stories and lectures.

    You are invited to attend the on-line activity planned for August 19-21. We invite you to whip up a batch of kringle, brew a cup of coffee, and join us virtually on Zoom.

    View schedule, programming  and registration information on the website. Registration for this event is $150.  Please submit your registration and payment no later than July 15.

    There will be a Zoom tutorial held at 10 AM, Wednesday August 19, 2020.

    Link to Registration

    Danebod Folk Meeting

    140 Danebod Court | Tyler, MN 56178 | (507) 247-3000

    danebodlutheran@yahoo.com | rickeann64@gmail.com


    • September 04, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • January 01, 2021
    • (PST)
    • 5 sessions
    • "Hulen" - Monrovia, CA

    DANISH SOLDIERS CLUB - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    May 26 Update - 

    June socials will slowly open up in Los Angeles.

    Here in So. Cal. we are still waiting for the LA County health Department to open up for Get-Togethers.

    But it looks like that Church services and meetings in June, might be allowed, as long as the 6 ft. spacing is followed. Hopefully this means, that Naver-Dalen can open the outside picnic area for controlled club events.

    It has now been 3 months since all the Danish Clubs and the Danish Church, have been open for socializing with friends and family. Important events like the traditional Danish Grundlovsfest has been cancelled.

    Singing our dear old songs might not be allowed, unless a face mask is covering your mouth, as the concern is, that singing, spreads droplets from your mouth, and could cause Covid-19 trouble.

    The following Danish Clubs might be able, to have a limited outside social picnic in June, with a 6 ft. spacing.

    The Danish Soldiers Club, The LA Naver Club, The Danish Brotherhood and the Danish Frokost Club.

    Of course, if you are concerned about the Virus, you should stay home.

    Below 2019 photo of the LA Naver picnic area.


    Always meets first Friday of the month

    Lunch and Meeting

    "Hulen"
    616 Norumbega Road
    Monrovia, CA. 91016

    Web - Danish Natl Committee
    Emailarneblan@pacbell.net

    • September 14, 2020
    • (PDT)
    • March 08, 2021
    • (PST)
    • 7 sessions
    • Hulen - Monrovia, CA

    THE DANISH BROTHERHOOD - LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA


    The following Danish Clubs might be able, to have a limited outside social picnic, with a 6 ft. spacing...

    The Danish Soldiers Club, The LA Naver Club, The Danish Brotherhood and the Danish Frokost Club.

    Of course, if you are concerned about the Virus, you should stay home.

    Below 2019 photo of the LA Naver picnic area.


    Meeting and Lunch.  Meets 2nd Monday monthly. No meeting-July & August.


    President:   Richard Rowse    phone: 626-446-8125
    Contact:     Secretary: Connie Hanson : 626-688-9120
    Treasurer:   Melissa Lay: 805-433-2241

    The Danish Brotherhood In America was formed in 1882, with headquarters in Omaha, and was designed as an insurance firm for Danish immigrants.  It is now a mostly social club with lodges all over the nation, loosely tied to a larger fraternal organization which does provide insurance for those who wish. The Los Angeles Lodge was formed in 1899 and celebrated its 114th anniversary in October, 2013.  The Lodge publishes a monthly newsletter to which anyone can subscribe for $15 per year. You can belong to a Danish organization with membership costing $15 per year. Our lodge meets monthly, mostly on the second Tuesday at 11:30 am.  We have a short business meeting, then lunch and refreshments. Yes, we do speak English mostly. You don't have to be Danish to join.  Anyone with an interest in things Danish is welcome.

    "Hulen"
    616 Norumbega Rd
    Monrovia, CA  91016

    Email - Connie Hanson

    • September 20, 2020
    • 11:00 AM (CDT)
    • Online - Zoom Meeting

    REBILD NATIONAL PARK SOCIETY - ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

    Online meeting of Rebild Membership - Denmark and U.S.A.


    Rebild Website

    Rebild Facebook

    • October 04, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • Online - Zoom Meeting

    REBILD NATIONAL PARK SOCIETY - FALL LEADERSHIP MEETING

    Online meeting of Rebild Leadership - Denmark and U.S.A.


    Rebild Website

    Rebild Facebook

    • October 31, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • October 31, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - PETER LASSEN

    Peter Lassen (31 Oct 1800 - 26 April 1859) born in Farum (Copenhagen), Denmark in 1800, is the namesake for both Lassen County and Lassen Volcanic National Park. He was a blacksmith by trade and characterized the “old pioneer” spirit and explorations of the Wild West. (Historical records differ on his specific birth date.)

    Lassen began his life in America in Boston, moved to Philadelphia and Missouri as he continued westward, eventually reaching Oregon, Fort Ross and Bodega Bay. He traveled south to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, where he was appointed to a posse to look for horses stolen from Sutter’s Ranch.

    When Lassen arrived at the confluence of the Sacramento River and Deer Creek, he was so impressed with the country side, he obtained the required Mexican citizenship so he could purchase 22,000 acres at Deer Creek. In 1845 he established the Bosuejo Ranch and then returned to Missouri to bring people to live there. The emigrants in his group were the first to cross the Lassen Trail.

    He established Benton City, also known as Lassen Ranch. He built Adobe buildings, a blacksmith shop and a store. Benton City became one of the most important sites in Northern California at the time. It was a residence for Colonel Fremont in 1846, for he and 60 of his men.

    Lassen later sold and divided his property holdings between two men and went prospecting for gold. Lassen found gold in 1855 in Honey Lake Valley and held many leadership positions. One of his many roles was president of the Nataqua Territory and surveyor. He was friends with several Native American tribes. He and his party built a cabin for the winter. The cabin burned down in 1896 and was not replaced.

    Lassen continued to search for additional locations for prospecting. He discovered a silver mine near Black Rock Dessert in Nevada. He organized a scouting party of two groups to meet at Black Rock Canyon. The day after he and his two traveling companions, Edward Clapper and Lemericus Wyatt, arrived at the site in April of 1859, Lassen and Clapper were shot and killed. Speculation remains if the shot was indeed fired by a Native American or a member of his own scouting party. Native Americans are attributed for their deaths on the Lassen Monument. Wyatt escaped being shot and rode 124 miles to Susanville to share the tragic news.

    A scouting party was able to recover Lassen’s body, but not Clapper’s. Area residents erected a monument to Lassen to recognize him for the many good deeds of his lifetime. He is buried under the Ponderosa pine tree he camped his first night in the Honey Lake Valley. The original monument burned in 1917 and was replaced with the current one.

    According to historic documents, Clapper’s body was recovered in May 1990 by rock hunters in the Black Rock Desert. They found a skull and upper body skeleton that was determined to be the remains of Edward Clapper. In May of 1992, his remains were placed at the Lassen Monument located on Wingfield Road, just south of Susanville.

    Lassen County

    High in the northeastern Sierra is Lassen County, where volcanic activity has shaped the landscape. Peter Lassen, a Danish immigrant, came to Oregon in 1839 and later settled in the northern Sacramento Valley. He returned to Missouri and led a 12-wagon emigrant train along “Lassen Emigrant Trail” in 1848 into California.


    • June 23, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 23, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions

    Sankt Hans Aften (Midsummer)

    A Nordic tradition, celebrated on the night before the Midsummer's Day

    Midsummer's Eve or Sankt Hans Aften is a relic of pagan customs, where the shortest day, the winter solstice, and the longest day, the summer solstice, were celebrated. Originally it was believed that midsummer night was filled with magical forces of nature—both bad and good. All herbs and sources were particularly sacred, and it was a tradition to seek sacred springs or picking healing herbs on this night.

    The tradition of burning bonfires came later. Originally they were not associated with Midsummer's Eve celebration, although later some farmers who believed in witches started burning bonfires on this night. A shape that looks like a witch was put in the fire. The purpose of the fire was to scare the witches and evil spirits away, rather than burning them.

    Today the Midsummer's Eve is still celebrated with bonfires, dancing, singing and a traditional speech from someone well known in the community. The celebrations are held all around the country, both in cities and small towns.

    Some of the most vibrant celebrations take place in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, and Skagen. The capital has bonfires at several places, including Tivoli Gardens, Frederiksberg Gardens, Islands Brygge, and more. Likewise, Aarhus offers quite a few locations to celebrate, such as Aarhus University campus, Godsbanen, or Langenæs Church. In Odense, the festivities take place at Engen in the Fruens Bøge forest. At last, the remote Skagen promises an exceptional celebration. Thousands come to the northern tip of Denmark to enjoy traditional songs at the bonfire that lasts here longer than anywhere else in the country.

    Burning the witches in Denmark

    The height of Danish summer is celebrated on the evening of June 23 under the name Sankt Hans (Saint Hans), who is known in English as John the Baptist. The festival of Sankt Hans and the celebration of the summer solstice have pagan roots and date back to the days before Christianity came to Denmark. 

    Sankt Hans is generally celebrated with a dinner at home with family and friends followed by a stroll to a community bonfire, often by the beach or on the shore of one of Denmark's many lakes.

    Tradition calls for an effigy of a witch to be placed on top of the bonfire, and as it burns the community sings the song "Midsommervisen", written by the Danish poet Holger Drachmann in 1885. The effigy of the witch symbolises all the misery that Denmark as a nation wants to avoid, and the song celebrates the hope that peace will prevail.


    Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”  
    (Youtube)

    De tre første vers, som normalt synges ved bålfester
    Text: Holger Drachmann, 1885
    Melodi P. E. Lange-Müller, 1885 

    Vi elsker vor land,
    når den signede jul
    tænder stjernen i træet med glans i hvert øje.
    Når om våren hver fugl,
    over mark, under strand,
    lader stemmen til hilsende triller sig bøje:
    Vi synger din lov over vej, over gade,
    vi kranser dit navn, når vor høst er i lade,
    men den skønneste krans,
    bli'r dog din Sankte Hans!
    Den er bunden af sommerens hjerter,
    så varme så glade. 

    Vi elsker vort land,
    men ved midsommer mest,
    når hver sky over marken velsignelsen sender,
    når af blomster er flest,
    og når kvæget i spand
    giver rigeligst gave til flittige hænder;
    når ikke vi pløjer og harver og tromler,
    når koen sin middag i kløveren gumler,
    da går ungdom til dans
    på dit bud Sankte Hans
    ret som føllet og lammet, der frit
    over engen sig tumler. 

    Vi elsker vort land,
    og med sværdet i hånd
    skal hver udenvælts fjende beredte os kende,
    men mod ufredens ånd
    under mark over strand,
    vil vi bålet på fædrenes gravhøje tænde
    hver by har sin heks,
    og hver sogn sine trolde.
    Dem vil vi fra livet med glædesblus holde
    vi vil fred her til lands
    Sankte Hans, Sankte Hans!
    Den kan vindes, hvor hjerterne
    aldrig bli'r tvivlende kolde
    .

    English Translation...

    Vi Elsker Vort Land/"We Love Our Country"

    We love our country
    when the blessed Christmas
    light up the star in the tree with a twinkle in each eye
    When in spring each bird
    over the field, down by the beach
    lets its voice give into greeting trills:
    We sing your law across the road, across the street,
    we wreath your name, when our harvest is in the barn,
    but the most beautiful wreath
    becomes yours, Saint Hans
    It is bound by the the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy
    but the most beautiful wreath
    becomes yours, Saint Hans
    It is bound by the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy

    We love our country
    but mostly around midsummer
    when every cloud sends the blessing across the field
    When most flowers are here
    and when the cattle drag the plough
    gives plenty of gifts to laborious hands;
    when we don't plough and harrow and roll,
    when the cow munch its dinner of clover:
    At that time youth will start to dance
    at your command Saint Hans!
    Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow
    At that time youth will start to dance
    at your command Saint Hans!
    Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow

    We love our country
    and with the sword in our hands
    every foreign enemy shall prepared know us
    But against the spirit of strife
    over the field, down by the beach
    we will light the bonfire on the forefathers' burial mounds:
    Every town has its witch, and every parish its trolls,
    we will keep those from our lives with fires of happiness
    We want peace in this country,
    saint Hans, saint Hans!
    It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold
    We want peace in this country,
    saint Hans, saint Hans!
    It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold

    We love our country
    and we greet that king
    who has tried and chosen the right princess:
    In his fairy tale castle
    every woman, every man can
    find an example of love for life!
    Let the times grow old, let the colors fade,
    we will however draw a memory in our hearts:
    From the North so rich in legends
    a glory goes across the world
    It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows,
    From the North so rich in legends
    a glory goes across the world
    It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows!


National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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