Christmas has been and gone (I hope you enjoyed my 24-day-long Danish Christmas Advent Calendar?) and I’m getting as much sleep as I can right now. Because celebrating Nytår (New Year) in Denmark is serious business. While Christmas is spent with family, New Year’s Eve is normally spent with friends – usually at someone’s house.
Let’s start with the basics. The celebrations start at 6 o’clock. Sharp. So make absolutely sure you are at the party venue about 15 minutes before, so you have time to change out of your ‘outside’ shoes, take off your coat, scarf and gloves, and put down your (humungous) bag of fireworks (not forgetting the all-important safety glasses for every member of your party). And what’s so important about 6 o’clock? Well, that’s when the Danish Queen “Daisy”‘ makes her speech, live, on the telly. And it’s tradition to watch. And listen. Whilst standing up and enjoying a cocktail or glass of bubbly…
After that, the kids (and big kids = dads) are officially allowed to go outside and launch a few fireworks. (But remember to keep the big guns for 12 o’clock!)
And it’s also the cue for the others (read “women”!) to go into the kitchen, finish prepping the yummy food, and get the starter on the table. Then the menfolk/kids come back in, everyone eats, the menfolk/kids go out and launch a few more fireworks, the women clear up and prepare the next course and repeat, repeat, REPEAT!!!
Just make sure that – with all the crazy comings and goings, food and wine aplenty – that you don’t lose track of time. When it’s getting near to 12 o’clock, you need to stop and find a seat. Or a ladder. Or a sofa. Something that is fairly high up off the ground to stand on…
Switch on the telly or radio and turn it up LOUD. Because the first chimes of the clock from Copenhagen’s rådhus (townhall) are your cue to literally ‘jump’ into the New Year. So we jump, hug, kiss and open (yet more) champagne. Then you listen to the traditional songs… Vær Velkommen Herrens År, Det er et Yndigt Land andKong Kristian stod ved højen Mast Not a dry eye in the house, nor an empty glass! ;P
And then it’s time for everyone to muffle up, pile outside (safety glasses on, champagne in hand) for the Grand Finale of fireworks. Which round our parts usually lasts over 30 minutes. But you will hear fireworks going off the whole night, into the wee small hours of the morning… And again the next day!
But back to our party… After the fireworks, you can come back in and warm up with hot coffee and kransekage (yummy marcipan cake, baked in rings, layered up and decorated with sparklers, feathers and streamers) before finishing off the champers…
And the day after? Is spent watching German ski jump on the tv, eating lots of junk food and – sigh – clearing up all the fireworks from the road and garden…
All that’s left for me to do is to say Godt Nytår! Happy New Year! Thanks for following the blog and look forward to seeing you all again in 2014!
5 thoughts on “Find a chair – it's time to jump into the New Year!”
Godt Nytår, Diane, thank you for sharing your Danish ways with all of us.
Linda in Wisconsin
(It was -21° here this morning!)
I wonder if Danes include all that fireworks smoke in their annual and vainglorious national carbon footprint statistics?
When one considers the very many fireworks injuries, tragic home fires, and other destructive and costly mayhem (aka hærverk) that routinely and customarily occurs during Danish New Years eve celebrations, it becomes increasing hard to label Denmark a wholly "intelligent" society.
Imagine the results and consequences if the sort of unregulated and dangerous fireworks (chrysanthemum bombs, large rockets, etc) which are publicly sold in DK were unleashed in other major urban centers of the world, not least in the USA . . .
The hideous and wasteful expense of Danish fireworks(thousands of kroner for "family" packaged sets) is alone enough to deprive these "civilized" vikinger of much respect.
Thanks, Linda – hope you have a great 2014 too!
And Godt Nytår to you too, Bill.
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