While the astronomical event known as summer solstice was Tuesday night, some western Iowans of Danish heritage will wait until the weekend to celebrate. Summer’s arrival has been marked through the centuries with all sorts of rituals at places like mysterious Stonehenge in England. In Scandinavian tradition, summer solstice means building a huge bonfire to ward off evil spirits. Rick Burns is director of the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn.Burns says the Midsummer’s Eve Festival planned for Saturday night at the museum isn’t focused on witches anymore, but there will be a big bonfire around which everyone will gather and sing, eat Danish dishes and enjoy the fellowship.Burns says the traditional event is called Sankt Hans Aften which means Saint John’s Evening, marking the birthday of the Biblical figure John the Baptist.
You are here: / / Danish to celebrate solstice in Elk Horn