Sunday, June 24, 2012

Midsummer Night

Yet, in the midst of it all, when the »witch« started to scream (ground mouse fireworks hidden in the bonfire), and hundreds of us stood by the fire, singing, and admiring this midsummer tradition, I couldn't help but think of all those poor women, midwives, self-thinkers who ended their days here, not that long ago in history. Screaming for real. My heart sank a little.

Sorry. A fest it was. The summer night was bright and warm, and the bonfire was beautiful.
Happy Midsummer!


  1. wow. i love your large fire, and all the faces gathered around.

    were there "witches" burned at this very site or on this day?

  2. No, actually, as midsummer marks the day when the light turns and goes to darker times, and as the superstitious farmers of the old days believed that supernatural powers would be extraordinary strong during transitions, bonfires were lit so people could stay awake to keep watch during these transitions.

    The custom of burning a witch on the Midsummer bonfire was to ensure that the evil forces at play that night would be sent to Blocksberg instead of out into the society.
    I've read that the first midsummer burning where they placed a witch-doll on the fire took place around 1900. The last witch executed in Denmark was in 1693. Yikes!