Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Danish Christmas Traditions

A group of us were sitting around last night and had an interesting conversation about Danish Christmas traditions. Here are a few of things that were mentioned.

-The big day for celebrating is Christmas eve.
-Christmas day is mostly for visiting and playing with presents.
-Boxing day is known as second Christmas day and the 23rd is sometimes reffered to as little Christmas.
-One person remembered that one Christmas eve morning his mother would serve hot chocolate and æblesivers (little apple dounuts that look like Timbits) for breaakfast. Most of the others thought that much sugar for breakfast sounded terrible but the man pointed out that it was no worse than North Americans eating pancakes for breakfast.
-Turkey is not big thing here. It tends to be a certain kind of roasted pork or, if you want to get very traditional, goose.
-Desert, aside from æbleskivers, is traditionally rice pudding with an almond in it. Whoever finds the almond, gets a prize.
-Presents are opened on Christmas eve.
-Candles are lit on the Christmas tree. Yes, with real fire. My Danish family in Canada do this too.
-Santa Clause is called Julemand. I asked what he does over here and was told he delivers the gifts in person on Christmas eve. I guess there's no need for milk and cookies then.
-Apparently many people here feel that believing in Julemand is healthy for children. Teaching them about God, however, is indoctrinating them with superstition.

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