Midsummer pallet fire in Denmark

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Forum topic by mafe posted 06-27-2012 08:45 AM 2715 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11741 posts in 3264 days

06-27-2012 08:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: midsummer

Midsummer pallet fire in Denmark
There is something burning in Denmark

Alternative use of pallets.

In Denmark we have a tradition since mid. 1800 to celebrate the midsummer feast, in Danish called Sankt Hans (our name for John the Baptist). (Some sources believe it is a German tradition that we have taken, in Germany called Walpurgisnacht, but no one knows for sure, since we probably celebrated the day with fires and a feast and then took over some of the rituals and modernized it).

In the old days the midsummer was also a big feat here in the North, it was the day of celebrating the light, plenty of drinking, play, love and food on an evening where people collected heeling herbs, holy water and other stuff that had magic effect or served the old Nordic Gods.

The midsummer feast we do by making fires along the coast, on these fires we put a witch to symbolize all the bad spirits and then we turn on the fire and sing together the midsummer song, while the witch is ‘send of’ on the fire.
(It has nothing to do with the terrible witch fires of humans in 1500-1700).

Our night:
Were invited to some friends house, they have a wonderful house by the water.
He is the owner of a company called Tailor Kitchen and they do some beautiful kitchens with wonderful quality of wood and good craftsmanship involved.
So he has made it an event to bring home a load of pallets from the company and then build a fire from these.
This year the shape was simple – less is more.

The night started with a violent rain so we were all a little worried.
The tables from the garden had to come inside and we would make the BBQ on the porch, but this has also a way of bringing people closer.
But then it cleared up and the kids even went swimming.

The fire was on and we were all there enjoying the beautiful evening.

And the witch…

She was hot on fire!

Boats and kayaks sailed in to enjoy it too.

Flames in the night as it became darker.

And we stood there until the fire was almost out.

Thank you Nicola and Jannik for a wonderful evening.

(Of course I could not help thinking of all the LJ pallet projects that could have been made, but it brought so much joy that it was well worth it).

The best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

21 replies so far

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3677 days

#1 posted 06-27-2012 09:03 AM

That looks like a wonderfully fun tradition Mads! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View pbyrne's profile


80 posts in 2867 days

#2 posted 06-27-2012 09:06 AM

Hey there Mads! It looks like a wonderful evening. Thanks for sharing.
God Bless you and yours.

View Brit's profile


7522 posts in 3018 days

#3 posted 06-27-2012 09:11 AM

When I first saw the witch, I thought you’d taken a Virgin Atlantic stewardess as a hostage. :o)

You can’t beat a good fire can you? So many thoughts and images in the flames and to see it reflected in the water is even better. Looks like a fun time.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3032 days

#4 posted 06-27-2012 09:21 AM

Updated & Continued


Your witches are very pretty LoL


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sodabowski's profile


2375 posts in 3008 days

#5 posted 06-27-2012 10:19 AM

Yeah, crappy pallets can also be used for that =p in my village we also used thrashed pallets to light up the summer fire and roast lambs :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3042 days

#6 posted 06-27-2012 11:14 AM

That was an interesting story, Mads. I have never heard of that tradition before but it sounds like it is a lot of fun. I know how you enjoyed it being with all of your loved ones. Thanks for this wonderful post and all of the great pictures.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2936 days

#7 posted 06-27-2012 11:28 AM

Good times with good friends, there’s nothing like it.

Take care

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View lysdexic's profile


5256 posts in 2798 days

#8 posted 06-27-2012 11:29 AM

Another block party. I am glad this wasn’t labeled “Diamond Jubilee” because I don’t think that is wanted the Queen had in mind.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View b2rtch's profile


4863 posts in 3223 days

#9 posted 06-27-2012 12:06 PM

Perfect occasion to have a mechoui (spit-roast lamb) absolutely delicious.

-- Bert

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3211 days

#10 posted 06-27-2012 12:07 PM

Nothing like a community fire to have a good time.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21534 posts in 3281 days

#11 posted 06-27-2012 12:47 PM

Great story and great pictures. We celebrated the feat of John the Baptist Sunday in church, but they would not let us build a fire in there…not even a small one.

It looks like you really have fun there in Copenhagen!! some day I’ll come to have a beer with you and sit on that wall!!.

One question, did you check the pallets for good wood first????

Have a great day, my friend!!!.........................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3260 days

#12 posted 06-27-2012 02:40 PM

Great party with good people and a good fire to celebrate the summer equinox. Thank you for sharing, and
I hope you have many more happy occasions with your friends.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3824 days

#13 posted 06-27-2012 02:50 PM

looks like good times

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View stefang's profile


16064 posts in 3509 days

#14 posted 06-27-2012 03:20 PM

Sound like everyone had a good time Mads, precious memories. We of course celebrate Sankt Hans here too with bonfires. this is the first year I have missed it in over 30 years since we were away on holiday. Thanks for the photos.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3863 days

#15 posted 06-27-2012 03:37 PM

Nothing like a good fire : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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