In Christian culture, for example, domestic violence is still legitimized in some circles by citing "Biblical authority.
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- Denmark's Sankt Hans Aften explained: Witches and rain?
Slut shaming through Western social media results in an increasing number of suicides among teenage girls. So-called "honor killings" do not usually involve fire but death by beating, stabbing or poisoning. Knowing this makes it all the more disturbing -- and yes, unforgiving -- when a contemporary civilized culture exercises amnesia every summer and forgets the historical significance of burning a woman believed to be a witch.
Midsummer in Denmark is celebrated not on June 21st -- the longest day of the year -- but on June 23rd, the eve of St.
Sankt Hans Aften is observed by gathering together on beaches and singing Lutheran hymns. It's a family affair. Little children are dazzled by enormous bonfires as their parents hang out with friends and neighbors, drinking wonderful Danish beer in the glorious twilight of a Scandinavian summer. Someone from the community gives a sentimental speech, and then everybody sings Vi elsker vort land , a nationalistic, yet indescribably moving song that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. It serves as effective consolation to the outrage I feel when I see the female figure being burned from the top of the haystack.
Danes love this event, and the witch burning, as I have said, is not to be taken seriously. But violence against women is screaming to be taken seriously. Angelina Jolie is using her celebrity status to draw attention to rape-as-warfare. The Internet is home to dozens of websites that are campaigning against gender based violence.
Everyday Feminism is a good place to start. Another one is UltraViolet Action. Feminism -- the campaign for women's rights -- is now entrenched in the progressive branches of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
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Maybe it's not too late to use Midsummer and the observance of St. John's birthday as a reminder of women's vulnerable status throughout the world. If Danes don't want to replace the witch figure with something less offensive, maybe they can conjure up a new, relevant, enlightened and socially progressive interpretation.
Maybe they can transform the ritual into something that feels good. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Need to know more?
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Frederiksberg Have Gardens offers a child-friendly event with a huge bonfire in beautiful surroundings. There will be entertainment from You can also have a barbeque from At Nyhavn, chill out with jazz and barbeque from Visit the homepage of Nyhavn. At Docken, there is funky music for funky people. Music, food,and of course the bonfire.
Bring your swimgear to Amager Standpark for skateboard performances and party with the organisation for homosexuals, transsexuals and bisexuals, Copenhagen Pride. The party is everywhere along the beach. Are you a beach-person? It was composed by Holger Drachmann and P. University Post is the critical, independent newspaper for students and employees of University of Copenhagen and anyone else who wishes to read it. Read more about it here. University Post University of Copenhagen.
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Burning Witches in Denmark: A Midsummer Ritual Unintentionally Endorses Gender-Based Violence
OK, I got it. Join the Danish witch craze. Hans bonfire and witch effigy. Come along to the big sing along image: