If you’re new to Denmark, then you had better stop frittering away your time on the internet. Get out RIGHT NOW and stock up! Yep, the Danes celebrate Easter in big style and the country will basically shut down on Wednesday night. Despite being very low-key about religion, Denmark will be closed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Completely closed. Imagine that…the shops are closed for more days than over Christmas! Schools, council offices and businesses are also closed. Libraries and post offices too (plus don’t expect to receive mail or parcels). Museums, your local swimming pool and fitness club may have special opening hours. Buses and trains may be running on ‘holiday’ schedules. Check before you head out! And the streets are deserted… Easter is not the time to visit Denmark! 😉
So you have to do your grocery shopping NOW. Stock up big time. And if possible, avoid Wednesday – that’s the biggest shopping day of the year aside from the last shopping days before Christmas. Pretty amazing when you consider that people are only buying food and drink – not a Christmas present in sight! If you forget to stock up, you’ll need to hop over the Sound to Sweden (they’re open for business as usual on Thursday). Or prepare to run the gauntlet on Saturday.
And what do the Danes actually do on all these holy holidays?
Well, they don’t go to church, that’s for sure (they save that for Christmas.) No, Easter is the time to eat, drink and be merry with family or friends. To get out in the garden. And get the garden furniture out (if you didn’t do it when we changed to summertime on 30 March) . Do some DIY. Get busy down at the allotment or open up your summer house and hope for fantastic spring weather…
Me? I’ll be doing a mixture of the above: a bit of gardening, an Easter egg hunt and friends coming to stay. Lots of eating and drinking. So I’m already stocked up with the Danish Easter essentials. And what do the Danes eat? Lamb selvfølgelig. Lots of påskebryg (Easter beer) and snaps. And the ubiquitous array of foods that you will see at Danish lunches (see my Christmas Advent Calendar post). Rejer (prawns), sild (herring), varm leverpostej (hot liverpâté), various meats like flæskesteg (roast pork) and rullepølse (rolled pork), One of my own faves is tarteletter (tart cases filled with a mixture of chicken and asparagus). Look here for more about them.
There’ll be lots of cheese. Dainty biscuits and chocolates/chocolate eggs. Or you might want to serve this yummy Danish mazarinkage (marcipan cake). Takes only 5 minutes to put together if you have a kitchen mixer! My recipe is here.
And now? Let us pray. And hope the Danish weather gods are with us!
Skål! God Påske!