Monday, June 25, 2018

Approaching sunset

We were out on the boat for Saint John's Eve, which is the night before John the Baptist's birthday. It is celebrated in Scandinavia as 'Sankthans dag', with bonfires lit along the coast once evening approaches. It is believed that the bonfires were originally lit in order to keep witches away. The day is celebrated right around the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The summer solstice is also called Midsummer, and the bonfires may be celebrating that as well. When I first saw the bonfires in the early 1990s, it seemed like something out of a pagan ritual. Interesting to witness, for sure. But when we were out this past Saturday evening, there were very few bonfires, and the few that we saw seemed to be placed in deep pits, not on hills as was the custom earlier. It was a windy evening, and the weather has been mostly dry and warm the past two months, which has created forest fire conditions. People have been asked to be careful about using grills and lighting bonfires/campfires generally. So that was probably the reason for the very few bonfires. The evening was beautiful, and I took a couple of photos from the boat. In the second photo, you'll see light rings around the clouds nearest the sun. Pretty cool.