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Sankt Hans Aften or St. Johns

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  • Sankt Hans Aften or St. Johns

    Doug asked me to start a thread about the traditions concerning "Sankt Hans Aften" Midsummer eve or St. Johns eve, since I mentioned it in my reply to restoration challenge #34.

    Midsummer Solstice has been celebrated for centuries in northwestern Europe. In Denmark and most of the scandinavian and baltic area people still celebrate midsummer or solstice around the 23. june with bonfires and some kind of feast or party. In Denmark people sing traditional midsummer songs together with family and friends at the bonfire, while in Sweden it is still a holiday.

    With a short search I have found a couple of danish and swedish links (in english):


  • #2
    This sounds so cool! We don't really have any national pagan celebrations here except winter solstice (aka: Christmas).
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3
      National Political party Conventions come close.....Tom


      • #4
        Tom you make me laugh all the time.

        I really enjoyed that. I love learning about things like that. When we lived in Belgium we really enjoyed thier holiday celebrations and the meanings behind them. You learn alot about the people that way. Most of those celebrations are distant customs that have evolved into the ways we celebrate many of our own holidays and festivals to this day. Our celebration of Halloween is steeped in old Celtic celebrations. Christmas celebrations today are a combination of ancient pagen rites and Christian ceremonies all brought together. It's a fascintating topic. Thanks for telling us about it.


        • #5
          Bit of prancing round the stone circles here by 'maidens' of the goddess. Thinking of having stone circle erected in my back field !


          • #6
            Offical Correspondence From The Land Across The Pond Concerning Stone Circles In Field and Dancing Maidens:

            Letter from Amenhotep III ( currently at the Royal city in Montana) to Milkilu of Gezer (somewhere in Lancashire)
            To Milkilu, prince of Gezer [1]
            Thus speaks the king. I am sending you this tablet to tell you: Behold, I have sent you Hanya, the commissioner of the archers [2], with merchandise in order to have beautiful concubines, i.e. weavers; silver, gold, garments turquoises, all sorts of precious stones, chairs of ebony, as well as all good things, worth 160 deben [3]. In total: forty concubines - the price of every concubine is forty of silver [4]. Therefore, send very beautiful concubines without blemish. And the king, your lord, says to you: This is good. For you life has been decreed.
            Know that the king is well, just as the sun god. His troops, his chariots, his horses are very well. Behold, the god Amen [5] has placed the Upper Land, the Lower Land, the rising sun and the setting sun under the two feet of the king.

            [1] Gezer: Town in southern Canaan near Askalon ( in Lancashire)
            [2] Archers: The Egyptian constabulary
            [3] Deben: weight, about 90 grammes. There was no coined money until the Late Period.
            [4] Forty of silver: Forty kits of silver, i.e. four deben
            [5] Amen: Still the state god under Amenhotep III.

            ( Translation of Tablet found at Armana....... with some minor desecrations...) Tom


            • #7
              Well I don’t know about the ancient Egyptians reaching our shores but there’s pretty strong evidence of trade in Tin between the Cornish Kingdom and the Phoenicians from the eastern Mediterranean. Quite a hairy trip by boat in 400BC !, not quite sure what the visitors brought in return possibly wine and textiles etc.

              There’s quite a lot of activity at the ancient sites over here during the solstices, the main site being Stonehenge which until recently has been off limits in the immediate area of the stones due to erosion by visitors. Our local stone circle at Keswick in Cumbria is on a much smaller scale and you can’t get much of an idea of its layout from my snap in the gallery. However it’s in a much finer setting than Stonehenge being surrounded by hills and woodland. I don’t think the Druids appear at the Cumbria site although they have a strong connection with Stonehenge which in fact pre dates them.

              There’s plenty of material on the web if you’re interested.

              A Welsh bronze smelter made this axe head for me at the Glastonbury festival a few years ago in the traditional fashion apart from a bicycle powered blower for the furnace. Handy for killing dragons and sacrificing virgins, I tell you it never stops over here.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by chris h; 06-27-2002, 06:53 AM.


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