Mid-Summer Bonfire in Aalesund

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There seems to be a deep desire in us to build large fires on certain occasions. It probably is a leftover from our reptile brain of which we cannot resist the urge to burn and damage something.

At that time of the year you can be sure that these levels are pretty high. A good thing is that the responsible person had to step down. Usually politicians get away with incompetent acts.

Just an old habit of people living at the seaside. In the old days we lit these fires to mislead seaman. The stranded ships were then plundered.

The area “Nags Head” comes to mind. They were shoreside pirates way back when… Even in 1976 or so, the locals ran a line to the “Betelguese” while grounded and claimed salvage. Although it wasn’t lured there by the usual methods from centuries ago. A towline parted in heavy weather.

Wrecking ships on purpose by luring them with lights was once a widespread practice in many places but thankfully is no longer tolerated.

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The resin parts in the pallet wood keep burning and are carried over a considerable distance by the strong wind. Nice…

The most awesome July 4 fire works have been cancelled for most of Outer Banks. Vacation Rentals open.

Corolla having theirs on Friday the 3rd.

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Thx Lee, wasn’t aware of that. Been following OBX voice… I’ll pass it on to the NRPO’S in my small circle.

This year’s bonfire (Slinningsbaalet) is still growing:
It will be lite Saturday 20. June this year.


Not sure if this link will work though.

The northern summer solstice is June 20, 2020 at 03:49:34 UTC.
Coincidence? Or does the solstice determine the date?

What is the fascination with fire there when the weather is starting to warm up? Why don’t you build huge bonfires in the middle of winter when the heat is needed? Explain. Is it just one of those cultural things?

Who wants to spend half of winter building a bonfire tower in the endless dark and biting cold? The snow and ice would only make it harder.

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I’m with tengineer on this, most people build fires when it’s cold, but what can you expect from folks who think it’s a good idea to eat rotten fish as long as it’s been dipped in paint thinner.

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Yes coincident. (Kind of; Normally Summer Solstice falls in 21st June)

Traditional lighting of the bonfires used to be on the 23rd. June, which is St Hans Eve.(In English Saint John’s Eve):

The last 10 years or so they have been lighting Slinningsbaalet (which is now the only large bonfire left in Aalesund) on the nearest Saturday before or after that date. (To facilitate people who would otherwise have to go to work on the next day)

PS> There will still be a lot of smaller bonfires on the Actual day, all around Norway,

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Traditionally there were MANY large bonfires in and around Ålesund at St.Hans Eve.
Here some pictures from 1950s:


No longer possible to burn anything here. Now a oil depot and bunker station.

Slinningsbaalet 1964. (All wooden barrels and boxes still):

PS> The first two pictures are probably taken at the darkest time of the night, since the bonfires are in full flame. The last two probably a bit earlier in the evening.

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OLD tradition that goes back more than a thousand years. Originally know as Mid-summer Blot. The eqv. Winter Blot was on or around 21. Dec. and became X-mas Eve. (23 Dec.)

PS> Nothing to do with Christianity until much later.

Nothing to do with keeping warm but, as Deck Ape says; “who wants to spend half of winter building a bonfire tower in the endless dark and biting cold?”
Besides. who want to sit on cold rocks to watch it burn? (We don’t have much snow at sea level in this part of Norway)

“Collecting” the barrels and boxes (and raiding other’s haule) was a night job.
MUCH better during the summer when there are light all night and relatively warm.

In winter, fire in the wood stove, inside
In summer, bonfire, outside

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Slinningsbaalet has been completed, but there are still some activity around (and up and down):

The whole thing will be burnt down in a matter of hours, from abt. 2100 hrs CET tonight.
The big question is; will the Royal Yacht NORGE, with the King(?) and Queen on board, make a stop to watch it? (She is in Geiranger at the moment):
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:303446/mmsi:257001000/imo:0/vessel:NORGE/_:455be53c8a91ed1553580f52085e2b63

PS> If the above link work were you are, you can watch it as well.

Update:

Looks like it is is going to be nice weather through the night:


Welcome rain coming tomorrow night. Much needed as it has been dry for a long time, with increased danger of fire in the lowland and avalanches in the mountains, where it is still an unusual amount of snow.
Some of the mountain crossings from East to West vv. has just been opened for traffic, with snow banks up to 5-7 m. in places.