Blogmas 17; Christmas in my home country

Oh, I have had such good fun with this!


You see, I am British, through and through. Born in Rainhill, lived there til I was 25 and currently a resident of a leafy middle class suburb in Liverpool. But this year I have adopted another country. I wanted to learn Danish (don't ask) and in a small way I am, but I have found myself studying the customs and characteristics of the country as well. It is no use knowing the language of a place and being ignorant of its culture, yes?
So this post I am going to talk about my adopted country. No, I don't live there, yes, I have never  visited YET but it is top of my list for places I want to go to. One day, when my Viking longboat comes in.

How do we Danes and quasi-Danes celebrate Christmas? I had fun looking this up. And even more fun trying to use some of the ideas in my life.

The Tree;
The Danes decorate their Christmas Tree with a  silver or gold star on the top, never an angel. They use strings of small Danish flags (Danes are very proud of their flag and use it a lot!) For a real Christmas feel they like to use real candles to light the tree and they usually light it for the first time only on Christmas Eve. After Christmas Eve dinner, the family join hands and dance around the tree. Then it's time to unwrap the presents; carefully, one at a time, with everybody watching so that each one can be enjoyed.

The Nisse;
The Nisse are Santa's helpers. Or they could be the origin of Santa Claus. Who knows? But they are little elves that take care of the houses and people in the house. They love rice pudding and porridge, and will get cross if you don't leave some for them!

The peppernoder;
Peppernoder are small spicy biscuits found in shops and easy to make at home. They are literally pepper nuts and came from Germany where they are called pfeffernussen. A good description and recipe for them can be found on My Danish Kitchen.

Marzipan!!
Danes love marzipan and will eat it in any form. At Christmas it gets made into shapes, hearts, stars, and gets put into other food like flødebolle (just like Tunnock's teacakes, apparently!)

The Main Meal;
This is eaten on Christmas Eve and can be pork or duck. Danes eat it with red cabbage, caramelised potatoes and other side dishes. They have Ris a L'amande as a pudding, which is basically creamy rice pudding and almonds. They hide a whole almond inside and the winner gets a marzipan pig!

Elf hats
Even usually sensible grown ups in Denmark will wear an elf hat during the Christmas season. It's a sign of their fun-loving spirit..... I think.


But the most wonderful thing I think that Denmark has at Christmas is the spirit of Christmas, the love of family and friends and the time they spend together. They love the warmth of candlelight, the heat of glug, the cosiness of blankets and games around a fire. And they even give it a name; hygge.

Comments

  1. I hope that you get to Denmark sometime and that it is totally wonderful when you do!! They have some great traditions don't they! Happy Christmas! xx

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  2. Hope there were plenty of hygge times at your home these past few days. I like the sound of some of the Danish traditions but I will pass on the marzipan, yucky!
    Lisa x

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