Tomorrow, 27 October 2016, is the last Thursday of the month of October which means that it is – selvfølgelig! – “Spil Dansk” (Play Danish Music) Day! 🙂
So don’t be suprised if the only music you hear on Danish state radio is by Danish groups (some of which also sing in English), Danish songwriters, Danish producers. Anything that has even remotely been touched by the red and white flag counts! But if you’re interested in Hit Lists and what you’d normally expect to hear around these parts – and what people actually buy and add to their collections – then take a look at Hitlisten.nu where you’ll find every official Danish list. There are the usual American artists, as you would expect, but also Danish artists like Lukas Graham, Volbeat and Rasmus Seebach are still in there. On a side note, Hitlisten’s info on the increasing number of vinyl records sold is rather interesting for an old, nostalgic lady like myself 😉
One of the more avant garde and original Danish artists right now is Bisse, who has taken the reviewers and the indie fans by storm. In Denmark, albums are given marks (or hearts) out of six. Here’s his own song, where he gives, “Seks hjerter til livet” – “Six hearts to Life”. Check out his album “Højlandet” which got 5/6 stars across the board from Danish reviewers. Bisse sings in Danish and you can hear him on soundcloud here.
And what do I currently have on my turntable? Agnes Obel. I’ve never really been a huge fan of her, but I love, love, love her latest album, “Citizen of Glass”! Agnes sings in English – here’s the song “Familiar” from the new album. And, although she has been settled in Germany for a few years, it’s kind of cool that she was born around the corner from us and was a former pupil at my DD14’s school (dear daughter, aged 14)…
But while we’re at it…let’s not forget one of our old favourites from Marvelous Mosell (with a teeny bit of help from Chic and Sister Sledge…) which contains the immortal lyrics:
“Der var både bajere og hash,
men jeg sagde: Stik mig bare en
kærnemælk i et snavset glas
med et sugerør i
og gør det i en fart, for jeg er sørme tørstig!”
“There was beer and hash
but I said: Give me some
buttermilk in a dirty glass
with a straw, and do it nifty
‘cos I’m really thirsty” 😉
What’s not to love?!
Happy ‘Spil Dansk‘ Day! Put on those dancing shoes and remember to turn it up to 11! But don’t forget to get out and hear music live… Like Johan, from my very favourite Danish band Magtens Korridorer, you’ll probably be swept off your feet! 😉
[Today’s post is especially for my DBB (Dear Big Brother) in Scotland.]
I got into the Quiet Zone compartment of an S-train last week when this sign caught my eye…
I had to take a closer look. No, my eyes didn’t deceive me. No drums allowed? Say what?!
It turns out – selvfølgelig – that those crazy Danes (or should I say some rather crazy, clever people at DSB) came up with this great sign to make us look twice. And to reinforce the idea of respecting the silence. I’m sure you’ve been in that position yourself – sitting next to someone with [excuse my French] crappy earbuds when you can hear every. single. pesky. boom. boom. schack. noise that comes out of their ears? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! I’m all for loud music (I turn mine up to 11) but, please, please, people…get some decent headphones!!!
So although you are very welcome to bring your bike on the train (as I regularly do), please leave your drumset and your crappy earbuds at home! 😉
Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar! Join me every day in opening a new door. Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!
I have a few Christmas ‘outing’ traditions. One is taking in a julestueor two, and another is listening to some live jazz – with our favourite Mads Mathias. We’ve seen him in lots of small venues (see the photo below from a couple of years ago) but this year we’re going to see him perform at Koncerthusetwith DR’s Big Band orchestra…should be a fun night! 🙂
And we always (always) make a trip to Tivoli. We’ve got membership cards and visit the park and gardens all year round (Easter, the whole of summer, Halloween) but, personally, I love seeing all the lights and decorations in December. Hyggeligt!
We went in late yesterday afternoon (about 4.45pm) and, as luck would have it, it was actually very quiet and we didn’t have to queue for any of the rollercoasters. Lookie here – space to move around! 🙂
We did the usual rides like the Chair’o’planes, the old Rollercoaster, the Odin Express and the Demon. But didn’t bother with the Star Flyer because it’s really cold and windy when you get so high up! 😉 (That would be 80m or 260ft!)
Love all the giant nutcrackers on top of the concert building!
The swans were out in force in front of Nimb, but they had to make do with articifial snow and ice. Current temperature here is a mild (for the time of year…) 4c or 39f.
And, really, what could be more romantic than a trip on a slow boat to…Copenhagen? 😉 My DD12 wondered how long it took for the staff to attach all the lights to that tree. Whilst I (the grown up/Canny Scot) was wondering just how much it would cost to run in electricity! 😛
If you’re looking for a nice bite to eat, then head for Grøften, which is very traditional and has been serving food to the Danes – and lots of famous visitors – since 1874. Here’s my Dear Dad from Scotland, about to tuck into a stjerneskud (fried plaice topped with prawns and caviar) and a julebryglast year….
You can even do a bit of Christmas shopping at Tivoli’s Christmas market. We thought these were rather quaint…hard-boiled toffees with different Danish motifs (Dannebrog, H.C.Anderson, the Daisy, the Swan). Now to get them wrapped, labelled and put under the tree. [Oh, wait a minute, we haven’t brought the tree into the house yet!]
Eight sleeps to go – need to and check my lists (twice). Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!
Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar! Join me every day in opening a new door. Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!
Today is Sunday, the third in Advent, so this morning the kids opened their third adventsgaver…
How about a bit of Danish music today? So far you’ve heard the ‘most played’ Danish Christmas song “Jul, det’ cool!”(a rap) and another about elves (and rats), “På loftet sidder nissen…”. So let’s look at the archetypal Danish Christmas hymn, “Et Barn er født i Bethlehem” (A child is born in Bethlehem). It’s one of the ones our family sings when walking around the Christmas tree after dinner on 24 December, just before the presents are handed out. And a song you’ll hear in every single nursery, school and church. If you are lucky enough to find an available seat in the church, that is. The Danes are notchurchgoers – unless it’s Christmas! Yep, most Danish churches have to bring in extra folding seats, to cope with the sudden demand…
Anyway, seat or no seat, you can learn the psalm in a snap because it’s so simple – each verse contains just two lines (half of one of which is repeated) and then ”Halleluja, halleluja!”. So even if you don’t speak Danish, can’t remember the words or your eyes can’t decipher the tiny letters on the hymn sheet, you can always join in with some hale and hearty hallelujas!
I can play it on the piano but, instead of torturing you with my own rendition, here it is, sung by Dario Campeotto….
If you want to have a go at singing it yourself, then go check out a nifty little site called the Online Danish Hymnbook – Den Danske Salmebog Online. You can choose whether you want to be accompanied by a church organ or piano!
Welcome back to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar! Join me every day in opening a new door. Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!
How are you doing with your gift shopping? Everything bought, wrapped and tagged? I have! Well, almost…only a few more pressies to wrap, and then I can finally put away all this wrapping paper, ribbon and tape!
Are you enjoying all the Christmas sights and sounds?
Do the shop windows fill you with awe? I am a sucker for anything silver! (Gold Christmas decorations, go home!)
The above window is from a little independent store called ‘Kirk’, which is filled to the gunnels with quirky nick nacks, whatever the season (Kompagnistræde 11, the street that runs parallel with Strøget).
Or maybe the sight of those shop windows is giving you yuletide stress?! Here’s one of my favourite Danish Christmas songs which – ho, ho, ho – mentions the stress of Christmas shopping in Magasin – one of Denmark’s oldest department stores (now, sadly, owned by the British chainstore Debenhams).
MC Einar‘s rap song “Jul, det’ cool!” (‘Yule, it’s cool’) is not only catchy but absolutely spot on with its lyrics!
“….It’s Christmas, it’s cool, have a look around, 15,000 people in Magasin. They have wet leather shoes, they have scarves on, and they have coats, gift packs, lots they have to do; but they’re enjoying themselves – of course they are! plastic stars, plastic fir trees and plastic snow…”
Turns out that those crazy Danes love the song too…because it’s the third ’most played’ Christmas song in Denmark (after Chris Rea and Wham!). (You can see what other songs are top of Julemanden‘s hitlist here.) And now for our singalong…
“JUL, DET’ COOL” – MC EINAR
Det skete i de dage i november engang, at de første kataloger satte hyggen i gang.
Det jul, det cool, det nu man hygger sig bedst. Det er julebal i Nisseland, familiernes fest. Med fornøjet glimt i øjet, trækker folk i vintertøjet, til den årlige folkevandring op og ned af Strøjet. Der bli’r handlet pakket ind, og der bli’r købt og solgt, tøsne snot i næsen det er pissekoldt. Det er vinter, man forventer vel lidt kulde og sne; men det’ er da klart at så’n en sag kommer bag på DSB. Intet vrøvl har de forsvoret, det de helt sikker på; men ved den første rim på sporet går møllen i stå. Folk de tripper, skælder ud, ser på deres ure, og sparker efter invalide, ynkelige duer. Der er intet man kan gøre og de sure buschauffører, gør det svært at praktisere julehumøret. “Gå så tilbage, for helvede,” råber stodderen hæst. Men det jul, det cool, det nu man hygger sig bedst.
Det jul, det cool, graner lirekasser, der er mænd, der sælger juletræer på alle åbne pladser. 12 bevægelige nisser og en sort mekanisk kat i et vindue ud mod Strøjet trækker flere tusind watt. Kulørte julegave pakker i kulørte juleposer, selv i Bilka, Irma og alle landets Brugser, er der ægte julestemning og gratis brunekager, der er hylder fyldt med hygge, der er hygge på lager, og hos damerne i Illum kan man få det som man vil, “Kontant eller på konto, hr.? Skal prisen dækkes til?” De smiler og er flinke, mest til fruerne i minker og gi’r gode råd om alt fra sexet undertøj til sminker, og vi andre fattig røve, vi kan gå i Dalle Valle, der er damerne så flinke, at de smiler pænt til alle. Der er masser tøj i kasser, der helt sikker passer. Det jul, det cool, graner lirekasser.
Det jul, det cool, kig dig lidt omkring, 15.000 mennesker i Magasin. De har våde lædersko, de har halstørklæder på, og de har overfrakker, gave, pakker, masser de skal nå; men de hygger sig selvfølgelig gør de det, plastikstjerner, plastikgran og plastiksne. Sætter stemning i systemer, det så nemt og nul problem, og kød blot julestuens julesæt med fire fine cremer, eller sukkerkrukker, pyntedukker, pænt mondænt og ganske smukt og søde sæt proptrækker, glas og øloplukker. Fra en skjult højtaler installation “Et barn er født i Betlehem” i Hammodorgelversion, vi traditionsbundne folk i traditionernes land, så vi hygger os li’ så fint vi kan, og særlig uundværlig det er Magasin. Det jul, det cool, kig dig lidt omkring.
(Højtaler lyde, som slutter med “Jamen du godeste er det allerede”) jul, det cool sikke tiden den går, der er intet lavet om siden sidste år, det de samme ting vi spiser ,det de samme ting vi laver, det de samme ting i TV, det de samme julegaver, samme penge problemer det dyrt og hårdt, udelukkende overtrukne kontokort. Overflod og fråds med familie og med venner, samvittigheden klares med en Ulandskalender. Det er julefrokost tid traditionsspilleri, spritkørsel, utroskab og madsvineri, vi har prøvet det før vi ved præcis hvad der sker, slankekur i januar og alt det der, det et slid; men der er lang tid til næste år. Det jul, det cool sikke tiden den går.
Okay, it’s a (w)rap. Hurry up and get your Christmas shopping done, then relax with a cup of something warm and soothing, like varm kakao and a couple of klejner. (Or maybe some gløgg and æbleskiver?)
And don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!
Today – Thursday – the only music you’ll hear on Danish radio is by Danish groups (some of which also sing in English), Danish songwriters, Danish producers etc. But if you’re interested in Hit Lists and what you’d normally expect to hear around these parts – and what people actually buy and add to their collections – then take a look at Hitlisten.nu where you’ll find every official Danish list.
And what I’m I currently listening to? Well – selvfølgelig – the latest album from Magtens Korridorer! Where my sweetie friend R is a guitarist… It’s called “Før alting bliver nat” (Before everything turns to night). Magtens K. are nominated again (again, again, again) for this years Danish Music Awards. This time in the category “Best Live Act”. Yep, no doubt about that – they’ve been called Folkets Rockband(“The Danish People’s Rockband”)! Two thumbs up! Or should that be – as in their logo – one thumb up and two fingers forward? 😛
Here’s one of their quieter offerings from the new album, complete with beautiful images of Copenhagen by night and, hey, even the lyrics – so you can practise your Danish and sing along!
Happy ‘Spil Dansk‘ Day! Remember to turn it up to 11!
I’ve always had mixed feelings about Sankt Hans Aften. (I’ve written about it before Happy Sankt Hans!). What is it? A huge event on the Danish social calendar – the night where you go out and celebrate midsummer! 23 June – which this year is next Monday.
Bonfires are lit up and down the coast. Or, like here – last year – in our local park. Normally around 9.30pm or 10pm, when it’s still light.
Safety first! It’s also – selvfølgelig – a busy night for the Danish firefighters, who are always on hand! 🙂
But, hey, let’s backtrack a little! The evening usually starts with people gathering – perhaps with a picnic – down at the beach or in the forest. The evening officially starts with a short Sankt Hans Tale or “Bål Tale” (bonfire speech) by a local dignitary or ‘personality’. And then the singing can start. Sometimes with live music from an orchestra or band. And, if you’re very lucky, a songsheet, so you can join in the singalong! 🙂
You’ll be singing Midsommervisen. A.k.a. Vi elsker vort land. “We love our country.” Last year we also sang I Danmark er jeg født (“In Denmark I was born”) and Der er et yndigt land (“There is a lovely land”) which you might recognise as the Danish national anthem.
Want to practice? Here’s the Sankt Hans song, Midsommervise. In a classic version…
…and, here, a modern version by Shubidua.
So why the mixed feelings? Well, as the fire slowly dies out (here we are in Svendborg in 2012), it’s time to head home in the twilight. And try not to think that, from now on, the long, long, long days of summer will be getting short, short, shorter. Øv! 😉
With the excitement of Eurovision behind us, my kids are now eagerly counting down to the strangest day on the Danish religious calendar. Okay – let’s be honest – they’re really just counting down to yet another day off school! 😉 On Friday they’ll be able to have a lie in because it’s 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, and – voilà – Stor Bededag was born. Big Prayer Day was traditionally a time to fast and pray. And, though I’ve yet to meet a Dane who willingly goes to church (apart – selvfølgelig – from christenings and weddings), a lot of Danes will be attending church this Friday. Not for regular church services but for confirmation ceremonies.
But the biggest tradition associated with Stor Bededag is eating hveder on Thursday night. What are hveder? Large, fluffy, pale, basic white bread rolls which you halve, toast and butter. You’ll find them on sale at the bakers but be warned that – despite their modest ingredients – they don’t come cheap!
I gave up queuing for them at the bakers years ago and just buy the ready-made ones from the supermarket. Best enjoyed warm with a nice cuppa! 🙂
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…
If you saw Tuesday’s post, you’ll know that I was gearing up to watch the first Semi-Final of Eurovision live in Copenhagen. Oh, what a night!
We sailed from the harbour, Nyhavn…
…by specially chartered canal boats over to Refshaleøen.
Everybody on the boat was in high spirits and enjoyed the views of, amongst other things, the Royal Yacht – Dannebrog, which just happens to be moored right in front of the Eurovision hall.
But, disembarking, I have to admit that Refshaleøen – dubbed Eurovision Island – looks a bit of a dump. Especially as the fans couldn’t wait to start taking photos. Couldn’t someone at least have cut the grass and removed the weeds?! 😉
Once through security (a quick pat down, bag check and metal detector)…
…we were into the open air bar area.
Everyone was in fine fettle and we chatted to fans from all over Europe…
Even a chap who hailed from Venezuela! 🙂
We were interviewed by Danish tv. And Dutch tv were interviewing the Swedes…
A few bottles of bubbly later (hic!), it was time to wee-wee at the porta loos before entering the old B&W building (an old shipyard). It was then that we started to feel the “wow” factor. This place is immense!
Found our seats whilst DJ Henrik Milling blasted out Eurovision hits to get us all warmed up and ready to party. And then we were ‘briefed’ by Jacob Riising (my favourite Danish tv presenter), about 15 minutes before we went live to millions of viewers around the world.
I have to say that – when it was showtime and the Eurovision intro anthem was played – I got goosebumps! And then we were off – with a bang! And partied, partied, partied for the next couple of hours…
View of the ‘open’ green room which is in the middle of the hall.
A fabulous night was had by all. Even if we didn’t agree with the songs that were chosen to go through to Saturday’s final! 😉
So who do you think will win? I think Austria, Sweden and Armenia will be fighting it out for the top 3. Or perhaps Denmark?
Good evening morning, Europe! As you may remember from Eurovision is coming!#JoinUs? waaaay back in November, Copenhagen is the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. And, yep, it’s finally here and the madness has started! I have my tickets and a few flags at the ready… 🙂
The centre of Copenhagen has been turned into “Eurovision Village” with street kitchens, live entertainment and plenty of kitsch hits. The shows will be held on “Eurovision Island” – an old shipyardwhich has been completely transformed. A controversial choice of venue: lots of money involved, has gone way (way) over budget and 10,000 of us will be trying to get to the (very) isolated island by waterbus, bike and a few taxis. Chaos ahead? Time will tell! 😛
Even if you aren’t going to any of the shows, you can walk the “Eurovision Fan Mile” from Central Station, via Strøget (the main pedestrian shopping street) along the “Eurovision Fan Mile” down to Nyhavn (the harbour). Just follow the banners – each bearing the title of a Eurovision winner.
If you have the time, the partner and the inclination – hey – you can even have yourself a “Wonderful Wedding” cruising round the harbour or being serenaded at the Royal Opera by the Maltese Eurovision entry! And if you’re in a same sex relationship, then what could be more apt than getting hitched on Friday 9 May? It’s the 25th anniversary of same sex civil partnerships in Denmark and there’ll be weddings, speeches and Eurovision partying by Ved Stranden (the canal). What’s not to love about Copenhagen? “Love of freedom. Freedom to love.” 🙂
But, as usual, I digress! Right now, I’m painting my nails and looking out my glad rags. Because tonight – Tuesday – I’m off to see the First Semi-Final with a group of friends. Who’s going to win this year? My money is on (yet another…) Scandinavian victory. La Suède? 12 points! Yep, matey, you might want to change that flag for a blue and yellow one!
After two years of (not so) patient waiting, WhoMadeWho finally have a new album out – “Dreams”. Hooray! Okay, okay, so I admit that after the first couple of listens, I’m not nearly as enthusiastic as I was about their previous albums. “Dreams” is low key, slow paced and grown-up. But it’s received rave (rave, rave…) reviews right across the board, both in Denmark and abroad – so it will no doubt grow on me. Even they admit that this is one to be listened to at home or through headphones. But – hooray, hooray – promise us that there will still be a party (with a capital P) when they play live! And I have tickets to see them next month, woop, woop! 😀
So what are WhoMadeWho like live? Phenomenal! Read on, Macduff…
[First published 18 April 2012]
It’s Wednesday morning and I still have music ringing in my ears from Saturday night. You see, I was finally able to see WhoMadeWho live. (A Danish band I’ve loved for a couple of years and mentioned on the blog before.)
So just like one of their tracks, I’m still high and “two feet off ground”. ’Cos those lovely Danish boys seem to have split personalities. In the studio, they make very polished albums. Not to mention appearing in very (very) polished videos. Like this one made for them by ‘Good Boy! Creative‘ which has been nominated for – and won – several awards around the globe…
But on stage? They’re wild. Wild with a capital W. With a strobe and light show that should carry health warning signs… So I’m still hopping. Turn your speakers up to 11 and feel free to hop along… (In this teaser video, you’ll get a short clip of their legendary cover of Ben Benassi’s “Satisaction”. On Saturday night it lasted about 10 minutes. Ha! Fan-flippin-tastic!)
It’s Friday! Which means I’m in the mood for dancing! [And ‘romancing’ – anyone else remember the Nolan Sisters?]
And nothing hits the spot like a bit of Marvelous Mosell… Remember him? (See Friday Fun – It’s Marvelous! Mosell!) The Danish rapper who mixes his own ‘fly’ lyrics with classic tunes. All topped off with crazy videos! And – for those of you learning Danish – there are usually subtitles.
Here he is – with a bit of help from Chic and Sister Sledge – with a tale of his exploits as Den Bedste Dancer (the greatest dancer)…
Okay, can you handle more drama? Just when you thought those crazy Danes had saturated the tv market with the (fabulous) Scandi crime series Forbrydelsen (“The Killing”) and Broen (“The Bridge”) – not to mention the highjinks at the Danish Parliament, Borgen (“Borgen”) – along comes DR1 (the Danish public service channel) on the first of January and hits us right between the eyes. Again! Kapow! 😛
No policitians. No murders (at least, not yet?!). Nope, our new ‘let’s-all-unite-around-our-television-sets-on-Sunday-nights-and-discuss-it-Monday-morning’ series is a family drama: Arvingerne (“The Legacy”).
Picture the scene: a famous, eccentric Danish artist – Veronika Grønnegaard – is dying. Along with her art, she’ll leave behind an eclectic family… Four children. Gro, the eldest daughter (who has a wardrobe to die for…), works with her mother. Gro’s biological father Thomas (a.k.a. Jesper Christensen, a.k.a. Mr White from the recent Bond movies – though, yegads, you’d never recognise him in this new rôle) lives on the property. Frederik (who has cut off contact with his mother) and Emil (who only contacts his mother when he needs money) are the two middle sons. Their father committed suicide. And then we have Signe, the youngest daughter. Who doesn’t know that she is actually Veronika‘s daughter – she’s been living with adopted parents, blissfully unaware. But Signe is contacted by Veronika a couple of days before she dies… Throw into the mix an ‘I’m-minutes-from-dying-and-am-handwriting-a-new-will-and-testament’ and let the fun commence!
Oh. And the title music – sung by Nina Persson (yes, her, from The Cardigans) – is also fabulous, but not available anywhere yet. Boo!
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…
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!
Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar! Join me every day in opening a new door. Just like last year, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!
Okay, so there are no prizes for guessing what I’m writing about today… 13 December means one thing and one thing only. Santa Lucia! A candlelight, singing procession – just before the sun comes up or goes down – on St. Lucia Day, the 13th of December. Lead by the Lucia-brud (‘Lucia bride’) – she’s the girl with the crown of candles in her hair – her followers wearing long white robes and bearing candles. A tradition stolen from Denmark’s neighbours – the Swedes.
Here we were at school last year. At 8.15am when it was still pitch black outside…
The procession went up and down the corridors. Ground floor, first floor, second floor. With pupils, staff and parents lined up to watch all the way. At 8.24am (see the clock!) the girls passed through the school library…
…and came up to the third floor of the school. Just as daylight finally came.
And, no – your eyes do not deceive you… The girls carry real, lighted candles. And the staff – selvfølgelig– take plenty of precautions. One of the girls got her hair just a bit too close to the flame and her hair singed very slightly. But the teachers were on hand immediately and nothing worse happened. All in a day’s work for a Danish teacher! The Lucia girls thought it was exciting and have a story to tell. And I’m glad to live in a country where they don’t use fear mongering and ban lighted candles – but instead carry on the tradition, use their common sense and teach the kids respect for open flames. Hooray for those crazy Danes!
If you want to hear the Lucia song, and get a real feeling of what it’s like to watch the small kids go by, here’s a cute little video from a Danish school. Not a dry Mum’s eye in the house, I’m sure! 🙂
But, hey, do be careful with those candles out there. And don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!