Friday, June 24, 2011

St. Hans Dag

Summer solstice has come and gone, with the official sunrise at 3:40am and sunset a mere 19 hours and 19 minutes later at 10:59pm, 13 hours and 49 minutes longer than at winter solstice. In other words. . . it's all downhill from here.

We celebrated St. Hans Dag--the (un?)official marking of summer solstice in Norway--by joining the throngs and Erik's colleagues who have children at Maihaugen, drinking champagne to celebrate my kicking ass on my Norwegian test, huddling under an umbrella as a quick summer storm raced through, watching an abbreviated children's version of Peer Gynt (which I didn't understand at all), sneaking a 3-year old into the men's single-stall outdoor bathroom because there was no line and the women's line was ridiculous, eliciting disapproving looks from all the orderly Norwegian women, listening to Norwegian oompah-oompah music, eating a requisite ice cream cone while wearing jeans, wool socks, long sleeves and a fleece jacket, and eventually watching a bonfire burn on a very small island (recently inhabited by a mother duck and her 9 goslings). Whew. Busy night.We all tumbled into bed around 10:30. . . Greta included.

The whole evening had kind of a Fourth of July feel to it: summer celebration, families with picnics, music, games and ice cream, and gathering on a hillside waiting for a fire-inspired extravaganza. I may have sounded a little sarcastic, but it really was a very pleasant, lovely night. I enjoyed recognizing the true start of summer, and acknowledgement of our position in the universe for just that day. Yes, I would have appreciated a little more warmth, but I was Officially Not Cold.

Daisy wreaths were a popular accessory

Some revelers, whooping it up on the hillside

And then there were these two crazy cats,
who wished they had marshmallows (or Peeps)
and a really long stick.

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