Midsummer Night’s Eve, ‘St. Hans Aften’, or ‘Jonsok-kveld’ is celebrated on 23rd June in Norway. The celebration includes partying, good food, music, dancing, and huge bonfires. A variety of events to mark the day will be held all over Oslo.

The celebration traces back to an old festival on the same date believed to be the summer solstice or the longest day of the year. The burning of bonfires was thought to have special cleansing powers and used to expel evil spirits.

In some parts of Norway, there is still a custom of mock weddings between adults or between children. The weddings are said to represent the blossoming of new life. Also, it is believed if a girl puts a flower under her pillow on this night she will dream of her future husband. Sweet dreams!

Where to experience the evening for yourself:

1. Midsummer Celebration at Tjuvholmen

Enjoy live music next to a big bonfire on the waterfront.
Artists this year include:
Shaun Bartlett who is celebrating his tenth anniversary as a solo artist. He is working on his fifth album and recently released the live album Oslo Solo.

Aleksander Walmann is a singer-songwriter who is out with a new single, Broken Wings.

Sigrid Zeiner is a creative artist with a need for individual musical expression. In 2014 she released her first EP, Uncomfortable.

Time: 19:30–late
Address: Tjuvholmen Alle 2, 0252 Oslo. More info

2. St. Hansfeiring på Høvikodden/ Midsummer’s Eve Celebration at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Spend the evening with your family enjoying traditional activities, including flower garlands, art activities for the whole family, singing, dancing, a rhubarb pie contest and a bonfire. Entrance to the museum is free from 18:00–22:00 and the bonfire will be lit at 22:15.

Time: 16:00–late
Address: Sonja Henies vei 31, 1311 Høvikodden
More info

3. St. Hansfeiring på Folkemuseet/ Midsummer’s Eve Celebration at the Folk Museum

Celebrate at the Folk Museum with adult and children’s mock weddings, games and activities, barbecues and an outdoor concert. Bring some food for the grills and a blanket to enjoy the evening.

Time: 15:00–21:00
Address: Museumsveien 10, 0287 Oslo
More info

Text by Joell Serrano / Photo: Pixabay