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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
bassen BS: Beacons New Years Eve (7) RE: BS: Beacons New Years Eve 15 Dec 99


Beacons along the coast of Norway were the old signal system (bauner, varder) for the "leidang", the old norse equivalent of the Home Guard/National Guard. This system may date to pre-Viking iron age (400-700 AD). Beacons are being lit along the whole coast of Norway on the Big Night. Since the original sites are in some cases now classified as historical monuments, the new beacons must be lit some yards away...

Bonfires are otherwise the central element for celebrating the summer solstice/Midsummer's Eve in Scandinavia, in Norway called Sankt Hans or Saint John's Eve (John=Johannes=Hannes=Hans, for the pedants). This is thought to originate in a need to help the sun through the shortest night of the year. You'd think old sol needed more help at the winter solstice. But dancing around a bonfire, getting drunk and cavorting in the bushes is decidedly more fun in summer.

bassen




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