Midsummer pallet fire in Denmark

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Forum topic by mafe posted 794 days ago 1404 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9492 posts in 1724 days

794 days ago

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:
We were invited to some friends of my girlfriend Sisses 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.

My girlfriend Sisse has been a guest there for many years and she is the one who makes the witch with the kids, I think she did a wonderful job this year with a classy simple one that matched the fire.

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


2898 posts in 2136 days

#1 posted 794 days ago

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


63 posts in 1326 days

#2 posted 794 days ago

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

View Brit's profile


5128 posts in 1477 days

#3 posted 794 days ago

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 say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4119 posts in 1491 days

#4 posted 794 days ago

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


2002 posts in 1467 days

#5 posted 794 days ago

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 :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View helluvawreck's profile


15627 posts in 1501 days

#6 posted 794 days ago

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.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 1395 days

#7 posted 794 days ago

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


4800 posts in 1257 days

#8 posted 794 days ago

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 isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View b2rtch's profile


4318 posts in 1683 days

#9 posted 794 days ago

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

-- Bert

View Cozmo35's profile


2198 posts in 1670 days

#10 posted 794 days ago

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

11329 posts in 1740 days

#11 posted 794 days ago

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


2876 posts in 1720 days

#12 posted 794 days ago

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 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2283 days

#13 posted 794 days ago

looks like good times

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

View stefang's profile


12953 posts in 1969 days

#14 posted 794 days ago

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


11644 posts in 2322 days

#15 posted 794 days ago

Nothing like a good fire : )

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

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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