Denmark will be closed this Friday (26 April 2013). Not that Danish
schoolkids will actually notice any difference… After all, they’ve been at home
from school – slowly turning into zombies – for over a month now due to the LockOut of the
Danish school teachers!
But I digress! What is happening on Friday? Well, it’s time for the
strangest holiday on the Danish religious calendar… Stor
Bededag. ’Big Prayer Day’! Yep, those crazy Danes decided back in 1686 that
there were just too many religious holidays during the year so they
lumped the minor ones together, four weeks after Easter. Makes sense to me
Big Prayer Day was traditionally a time to fast and pray. Hee hee! I’ve yet
to meet a Dane who willingly goes to church (apart – selvfølgelig –
from christenings, confirmations and weddings). Most people will spend the day
gardening or working on a DIY project. Or will make a day trip to Sweden, where
it’s business as usual and cash registers will be working overtime.
Even if the Danes don’t pray on Friday, they will – because they love and
defend their traditions with a vengeance – eat hveder on Thursday
night. Large, fluffy rolls which you halve, toast and butter. They’re already
on sale at the bakers…but they don’t come cheap! (And they all taste pretty
bland, so I normally just buy the cheap ones from the supermarket – it’s the
thought that counts after all?)
And after you’ve had your hveder, you’re supposed to go for a stroll
around the city ramparts at Kastellet (Copenhagen Citadel). You don’t
live near Kastellet? Well, sit back, relax and enjoy Denmark’s finest
rock band, Magtens
Korridorer singing about a picnic at the Citadel… (If the guy pretending to
sing in the video looks familiar, it’s Nicholas Bro, an actor who was in the The
Killing (II) and Borgen…
And what about the prayer part? Will I be saying a prayer come Friday?
Well, just like all the other mothers of Danish schoolkids, I’ll be praying that
our kids are soon back to school!
God Stor Bededag!