As a kid we spent the summer on the farm helping in the garden, shucking corn, or riding along with our dad to feed the cattle over at grandma's house. We'd ride our bikes up and down the half mile driveway and mow until the cows came home. There were so many things we could do while on summer vacation especially on the long days when the sun didn't go down until late.
As a grown up those days are few and far between often filled with running errands, making dinner, cleaning the house, or commuting home from work instead. I have recently begun working from home and have tried to take advantage of the extra time I have to enjoy summer more. One thing I have done is spend more time with friends and family and a great way to do that is to celebrate the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice! If you are going to celebrate the day, why not do it Norway style?!
Summer Solstice (Midsummer's Eve) is a big deal in Norway which comes with its own traditions. The first of these traditions is a big, big, bonfire. I mean big... record setting even! In 2010, a bonfire set a record at 40.45 meters high, 132.7 feet in the town of Ålesund. It takes up to 40 people to build the bonfire which measures 65 by 65 feet or 20 meters.
According to the article "Midsummer's Eve" on the blog "My Little Norway: Discover the Kingdom of the North", the custom comes from the same place a lot of traditions come from, old folklore on the farm. The fire was lit around farms to "wake up" the ground with the belief that when the light from the fire list up the fields, the fields would be more fertile that year.
So why not invite your friends over for a bonfire hangout? Summer Solstice is June 20th, 2017. Make it a potluck style with some open-faced sandwiches and enjoy each other's company while the sun lingers up just a little longer than any other day during the year.