Midsummer’s Eve Celebration

On June 23, Randers has a popular tradition of celebrating St. John’s Eve or Midsummer’s Eve at Tronholmen on the banks of the River Guden.

Midsummer’s Eve Celebration

The Midsummer's eve celebration at Tronholmen usually takes place from 8 pm to 10 pm.

The event is "kicked off" by a Danish celebrity lighting the bonfire at Tronholmen. The celebrity will also act as main speaker during the celebration.

History

Midsummer’s Eve has a long history; it dates back to pagan times before being adopted by Christians to recognize St. John’s birth. In Denmark, the celebration arose around a belief that fire would drive evil spirits and trolls away, so that crops and harvesting would go well. It also became a chance for people to socialize and have some fun. Today, the Midsummer’s Eve celebration is both a celebration of St. John the Baptist’s birth and a remembrance of earlier times as well as still being a chance for people to get together, socialize, and have some fun around a roaring bonfire on a beautiful summer evening.

A witch doll is often found in the bonfires. The origin of this custom is a Danish folk belief that Saint John's Eve (sankthansaften in Danish) is also the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains in central Germany.

Midsummer Ballad

It is tradition that the Danish Midsummer Ballad (Midsommervisen - Vi elsker vort land) is sung at the Midsummer's Eve celebration. You can see the text below.

Midsommervisen – Vi elsker vort land
Text: Holger Drachmann
Melody: P. E. Lange-Müller