Celebrate Midsummer's Eve
With the Sons of Norway - Dovre Lodge and the Pioneer Village Museum
Saturday, June 19, 5:30 PM - 8 PM | Bonfire - 7:00 PM
What is Midsummer?
Midsummer (Norwegian: midtsommer; Swedish: midsommar; Finnish: keskikesä) is a Northern Hemisphere tradition that spread through Northern Europe to the Americas. Though the origins of this celebration date to pre-Christian summer solstice festivals, it survived the Christianization of Europe in the form of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, established in the 4th Century CE to celebrate his birth. (This date was chosen to align with the established birthday of Jesus, December 25th; according to Biblical lore, John the Baptist was born six months before Jesus.)
Scandinavian immigrants to our region brought Midsummer Eve celebrations with them. This is a celebration that has endured up to the present day, both in Scandinavia and in the Scandinavian diaspora worldwide, particularly the United States.
Midsummer Eve Bonfire, painting by Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup (30 Aug 1880 - 21 Jan 1928)
For the last two years, the Pioneer Village Museum joined together with the Sons of Norway - Dovre Lodge to bring Midsummer Eve traditions to the Barron County community.
As with both ancient and modern traditions, a bonfire was central to the celebrations (along with the presence of the local fire department!), and in 2019, the Sons of Norway raised a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång).
This year, our celebration will be from 5:30 - 8:00 PM, but with the bonfire at 7:00 PM, and guests are welcome to wear traditional attire.
Bring your friends and family for an evening of cultural learning and fun!