Summer solstice is right around the corner
January 3, 2013 2:24 PM   Subscribe

In 2010 the annual midsummer bonfire in Ålesund, Norway broke world's records. For more than 3 months, the youngsters built a 40 meter tall structure, and then burnt it down. More here.

St. Hans bål are a special time in Scandinavia, because of the short summers.
posted by growabrain (21 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Well, who the heck cleans up that mess????

/damn, I'm getting old....
posted by HuronBob at 2:27 PM on January 3, 2013

bummer that it topples over before it really even gets going.
posted by ReeMonster at 2:29 PM on January 3, 2013

Someones CHEP board account is fucked.

That's also indescribably awesome.

A decade ago the city used to have a Christmas tree bonfire. Run by the fire department, trees stacked and lit. We aren't allowed to do it anymore, the trees are chipped to make recycled mulch for city parks.

Sometimes being green isn't all that fun.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:30 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Of course, the Texas A&M event comes to mind.
posted by HuronBob at 2:36 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

And, there's this event that might have made them think twice about the whole "fun with fire" thing.
posted by HuronBob at 2:40 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Very impressive. I haven't found any video from the burn yet though?
posted by jeffburdges at 2:41 PM on January 3, 2013

Of course, the Texas A&M event comes to mind.

Yeah, that was my first thought. A dark day all around. I can only hope these youngsters have more adults and engineers supervising everything. Stacking pallets does look a lot safer than binding irregular tree logs, at least.
posted by kmz at 2:44 PM on January 3, 2013


Ålesund, I know this tower's killing you.
Oh, Åaaaaaaaaalesund, my flame is true.

posted by gurple at 3:01 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh, God... I humbly entreat you for the soul of this, thy servant, Neil Howie... who will today depart from this world. Do not deliver me into the enemy's hands... or... put me out of mind forever. Let me not undergo the real pains of Hell, dear God, because I die unshriven... and establish me... in that bliss... which knows no ending... through Christ... our Lord.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:03 PM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

2010, you say? Thanks for keeping us up to date.
posted by JJ86 at 3:15 PM on January 3, 2013

I miss Scandinavian midsommer.

The only Swedish one I've ever attended was in the middle of a pine forest, there was some very pagan flower-gathering and everybody got sh*tfaced on schnapps before noon.

But the Danish ones are great. One year I bounced between three parties on Amager beach, Copenhagen. The communist party bonfire had the best speeches, the rowing club one had the best booze and the Labour party one had the best witch effigies.
posted by kariebookish at 3:40 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also of note, there's not just one in Belfast, there are many across the city usually right in the middle of urban areas which are lit and left to burn for days mostly unsupervised. Just because we can.
posted by Damienmce at 3:45 PM on January 3, 2013

Community fire is an awesome thing.
posted by Catblack at 3:49 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

In other news, the Gavle Goat didn't survive this year.
posted by Lucien Dark at 3:53 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Pfft. That's nothing. A guy I grew up with burned down a mall it took them a whole YEAR to build.
posted by item at 4:00 PM on January 3, 2013

I miss Scandinavian midsommer: Me too! These late, bright evenings and friends singing those beautiful folk songs...
posted by growabrain at 4:02 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

That's pretty impressive just as an engineering structure, even before they set it on fire. I was kind of wondering how they built it.
posted by carter at 8:44 PM on January 3, 2013

It's missing the world's biggest marshmallows.
posted by vasi at 10:37 PM on January 3, 2013

Alesund is also the title to one of the most beautiful songs by Sun Kil Moon.
posted by aleatorictelevision at 10:55 PM on January 3, 2013

TwistedSifter has some more photos. In those, it looks like they were pretty damn stupid, standing basically under the thing while it was burning, and then a huge chunk of the top fell off and could have easily landed on the crowd. Very lucky kids.
posted by smackfu at 1:45 PM on February 1, 2013

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