We have an age old tradition of celebrating Mid-Summer Blot by burning bonfires in Norway. (The Mid-Winter Blot is now called Christmas)
In Aalesund this this was a specially big event, with many large bonfires of wooden barrels being lit on St.Hans Eve (23. June)
The barrels was collected by various “gangs” of youths (boys only) from different parts of town in May and June, competing on who could collect the most.
Some barrels were given by the many herring processing plants around town, some were “stolen” at night. (Or put in places where the Owners knew they would be found by rowing collectors at night)
Then it was a question of protecting your haule of barrels from other “gangs” that was looking to increase their haule the easy way. Guarding the haul (and raiding) at night took it’s toll on school attendance and attention during that period, which also happened to be Exam time,
The tradition of multiple large bonfire and “gangs”, competing to see who’s bonfire would be largest and burn the longest, is now gone.
Only one large bonfire is surviving, Slinningsbaalet,
But it is now built with wooden pallets that has been donated, (Not “honestly stolen”)
It is not necessarily lit on 23.June either, but on the nearest Saturday to it. (Which Saturday that will be this year has not been published yet)
Here is a Video about Slinningsbaalet, which has now become “world famouse”, after setting a Guinness World Record for the tallest bonfire (47.8 m.) in 2018:
PS> I belonged to the Hessabaalet “gang” and our main competitor was Slinningsbaalet. Mortal enemies during the collection period, although we went to school together, in the same class room. (We could still play together during recess though)