Saturday, December 01, 2012

How I celebrate Christmas ♥

As you all very well know (if not, now you do) I'm from Denmark and I would like to tell you about how we celebrate Christmas in Denmark. Actually we use the word Jul (Yule). It isn't that different from how the English people celebrate it but there are certain important differences such as the food, the dates and other traditions.

In Denmark we have Yule calendars that mark all days from December 1st untill December 24th. They are mostly made of cardboard and contains chocolate or some other sort of sweets. There are other types as well, some containing pictures or beauty products etc.
Lots of people makes their own as well; wraps in 24 little gifts that are to be opened each day. I know we make a huge version for my grandma each year which is mostly food stuff, toothpaste, and all those things an elderly woman would get excited about. 

We hang a big wreath up with four candles on and light one for each advent Sunday. 

We have 3 national TV Shows with exactly 24 episodes leading up to Yule Eve. It's a very popular tradition and is talked about each day. Like a whole country watching the same TV series. It's very lovely and cosy. There's one at 6pm for the little children, one at 8pm for the older children and one at 22pm for the adults. I still only watch the two first ones. They may be childish, but then again so am I.

We also have a so-called 'calendar candlelight' which is a candle with the numbers 1-24 on it and then you burn one number for each day.

With all the "24"-thing going on above you may have realized that we celebrate Christmas on the 24th and not the 25th. In my family we start the day off with a yummy breakfast. If we're not hosting the evening we're relaxing and getting dressed, but if we are hosting we're busy making so much food that you'd almost think we were trying to feed our family to death. 
We go to Church in the afternoon which is probably the only day a year we ever go.
During late afternoon the rest of our family arrives. And then we eat. And eat and eat. In our house there's homemade cookies, homemade confectionery & sweets, fruit and nuts literally everywhere. Our dinner consits of a two course meal. 
The main course usually consists of plain potatoes, caramelized potatoes, plenty of brown sauce, roast duck, roast pork with salty crispy skin, red cabbage, pickles, gherkins, chips and a kind of cranberry marmalade that I don't know what's called in English. 
For dessert we always have risalamande. This is a cold rice pudding dish served with hot cherry sauce, traditionally with a whole almond hidden inside. Whoever's the lucky finder of this almond is intilted to a small gift which is usually something chocolatey or a pig made of marcipan.
I hardly ever get the almond but when I was younger my uncle used to pass it to me under the table.
After we've eaten our body weight in delicious food we have the tradition of making our new fatty-selves dance around the Christmas tree. 
Our tree is a real pineneedle tree decorated with all kinds of ornaments and lit candlelight.
We all hold hands and dance (more like walking depending on the beat of the song) around the tree in a circle while singing Danish Christmas songs.
My favourite is "Nu' det Jul igen" (Now it's Christmas again?) because that's the fastest song there is and we always split up the circle and run around the entire house with huge grins on our faces while singing and jumping on the beds, running around the dinner table etc. The elderly family member sits this one over as it tends to get quite brisk.

When we've completely lost our breath and run out of songs we actually know the words to we sit down and open presents. At our house it's usually about 1am now and the children gets the first presents.
Then we spend the rest of the evening on relaxing, more eating and chatting as if we hadn't done that throughout the entire day. 

In Denmark our Father Christmas is called Julemanden (the Yule man) and he lives in Greenland with his tiny elves. Elves are quite a big deal in Denmark; most of our decorations have something to do with elves which we call nisser. There are two kinds of nisser; some naughty ones who teases you and the friendly and nice ones who helps you. They usually live at the attic and a lot of people put up a bowl of risengrød for them. Risengrød is rice porridge and can be served either cold or hot. It is served with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter on top and usually eaten with a wooden spoon. Because that's how Julemanden and his elves eat it.
Julemanden doesn't really visit us on the 24th. He comes each day during the night from the 1st to the 24th and puts a little present in our stockings.

 Christmas is the most wonderful time of year.






4 comments:

  1. This was beautiful, loved learning about how you celebrate Christmas!! Sounds wonderful too :)) I hope it's a marvellous time for you this year!! xx


    La Femme Nouvelle

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  2. Hey sweety, on my post, there is a link to watch the movie online, I found the whole movie on Youtube, so you can watch it & enjoy ;) xx

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  3. I've been busy at work all day so I didn't really feel much Christmas spirit at all :-( But when I read this, I got all excited and christmassy! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Nanna :-)

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  4. Danish Christmas sounds AWESOME! I love learning about other people's cultural traditions xx

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Thanks for reading x