Norway - Midsummer's Eve

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June 23rd 2017
Published: June 30th 2017
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Bjørge and His BusBjørge and His BusBjørge and His Bus

He normally uses this vehicle to carry around his sound equipment. But, it also was able to accommodate all eight of us.
As many of you know, the summer solstice is a major event in Scandinavian countries. Some say that because the Nordic people were the last Europeans to adopt Christianity, the pagan rituals involving the longest day of the year have persisted. It seems to me it is because the solar cycle near the arctic circle is so dramatic and simply because the Scandinavians enjoy an opportunity to party! Above the arctic circle, the sun never sets this time of the year. We experienced this while visiting Harstad and the Lofoten Islands. But, even Oslo at about 60 degrees north experiences about 20 hours of daylight. It is actually difficult to sleep for those of us from lower latitudes.

This year the solstice was on Wednesday, 21 June but the Norwegians made Friday the official holiday. That evening, the entire family packed into Bjørge's bus and we headed to the picturesque seaside town of Åsgårdstrand for the celebration. This is definitely a family affair with young children cavorting about and swimming in the cold waters of the Oslo Fjord! People set up chairs and tables and enjoy a picnic. There were roving musicians and food and drink tents set up by
On the Way to MisummerOn the Way to MisummerOn the Way to Misummer

Mai Elise and Julien were taking care of her uncle's dog Romsø who didn't want to stay home. Tage likes to ride shotgun.
local groups. But, of course, the main attraction is the huge bonfire! Men were still stacking wood as we arrived and then proceeded to douse the wood with fuel. Finally, at the specified moment, the fire was lit and a huge cry went up from the crowd!

We also attended the Midsummer celebration the last time we were in Norway in 2000. Mai Elise found some pictures of that event (when she was only three) and thought we should recreate them today. It was great fun going thru the photos and brought back many good memories,

A light rain began to fall as the fire burned itself out and we headed home to Horten.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Hege and BjørgeHege and Bjørge
Hege and Bjørge

Our gracious hosts.

The water temp was about that of Lake Superior but it did not deter these hardy Norwegian children!
Hege and LynnHege and Lynn
Hege and Lynn

You can see that this is no small pile of wood.
Midsummer MaidMidsummer Maid
Midsummer Maid

A number of young women wore these traditional garlands.
Hege, Me, Lynn and Mai EliseHege, Me, Lynn and Mai Elise
Hege, Me, Lynn and Mai Elise

A thorn among the roses!
Mai Elise and Me 2000Mai Elise and Me 2000
Mai Elise and Me 2000

This is one of the pictures Mai Elise decided to recreate.
Victoria FirstVictoria First
Victoria First

I wanted to try a lighter weight first.
Then Mai EliseThen Mai Elise
Then Mai Elise

No problem since she is very light weight.
Then BjørgeThen Bjørge
Then Bjørge

The ultimate test! We had a lot of fun with this.
2000 vs 20172000 vs 2017
2000 vs 2017

Mai Elise put these two photos together.

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