Test your knowledge of fun facts about Danish X-mas!
We’ve finally made it to the most hyggelig month of the year, and it’s time to get in the Christmas spirit! Perhaps you’re celebrating your first Christmas in Denmark and want to be fully prepared for everything that entails, from strange Christmas dishes and confounding Christmas traditions, to “interesting” Christmas fashion choices. Or perhaps you’ve always wondered what Danes actually do when they get their Christmas hygge going full-on with family and friends. Although everything is different this year because of Covid-19, many traditions remain the same.
So we’re here to help you get a firm grasp of what it means to celebrate traditional Danish Christmas. Take our spankin’ new Christmas quiz – and tap into that joyous Christmas spirit.
Danish Christmas traditions! What do you know about ‘em?
Learn more - Win more
Did we stump you? Or maybe you just want to learn even more about Danish Christmas? Then we have a special Christmas blog for you! We’ll be updating the blog every week with even more tips on how to celebrate genuine Danish Christmas in style.
Merry Christmas – or as they say, Rigtig god jul!
PS. A prize awaits if you correctly answer all of the questions in the quiz
PPS. And if you don’t, we’ve got a consolation prize for you too
PPS. To get your hands on the prices stay tuned throughout December!
Did you miss last weeks' Christmas quiz? Don't worry - you'll find them here.
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Learn more about how to celebrate a truly Danish Christmas
Danish Christmas Kit
Make sure your Danish Christmas kit is in order. We recommend the following equipment for a Danish Christmas:
- Kalenderlys [Calendar candle] Buy an advent candle and light it every day to mark the countdown for Christmas Eve.
- Pakkekalender [Parcel calendar] Find or buy 24 small gifts - one for each day until Christmas Eve. Wrap the gifts individually and arrange them nicely to make an advent calendar for someone you love and enhance the Christmas spirit.
- Adventskrans [advent wreath] Candles are an important part of Christmas in Denmark. For the personal touch, visit your local forrest to collect pine cones, moss, berries and whatever else, you can use to decorate your wreath.
- Nissehue [Christmas elf hat] A santa hat is an important part of your December uniform. Use it for the Christmas lunches or just to spread joy throughout December.
- Kravlenisse [climbing elf] Cut-out Christmas elves are very popular in Denmark. Decorate your home with some cute and colorful Christmas elves to let the Christmas spirit in.
Danish Christmas Customs
We've selected a few activities in December, that you definitely should not miss:
- Pakkeleg [Parcel game] This game is popular at Christmas lunches and dinners. Playing parcel dice game brings out the worst in everyone – especially the Danes. To play the game, everyone invited to the game must bring one or two small, wrapped gifts. The dice will decide if you are a winner or a loser. Beware! High hostility and fierce competition can be expected. The rules vary from very simple, to complicated ones.
- Hemmelig nisseven [Secret elf friend] is the Danish version of 'Secret Santa'. A secret elf friend game might be arranged at your workplace. Just like Secret Santa the game is about giving gifts to the person you were assigned to, without them knowing who you are. Contrarily to 'Secret Santa', in the Danish game you’re also expected to mess with the person a bit.
- Julefrokost [Christmas lunch]. Usually this is an epic gathering and a great way to experience the natives, but of course this year it will be different due to Covid-19. Hopefully next year, you can expect to be invited to Christmas lunches during all of December. It all starts relatively civilized with classic Danish Christmas dishes and maybe a few games. It usually ends with too much snaps and people dancing on tables.
- Mandelgave [Almond present] Winning the ‘almond present’ is serious business in Denmark. All you need to know is that in the whole risalamande pot there is only one whole almond. If you get the almond, you are a winner and get a present. Remember that you have to hide it, so that everyone else continues eating just to find it. Be careful not to chew it by mistake, because all the others will be expecting proof of their defeat.
Danish Christmas Dishes
Danes love good food and December is the perfect time to try out some special Danish Christmas dishes.
- Rødkål. Red, warm and vinegar-infused cabbage represent the vegetable part of a Danish Christmas dinner.
Flæskesteg. The Danish version of roast pork always prepared with crispy crackling, is a favourite for the Danish Christmas dinner.
- Brunede kartofler [browned potatoes]. One of the key players on the Danish Christmas table is the caramelized potatoes. Small boiled potatoes, cooked in butter and melted sugar. Careful! These spuds are a REAL cholesterol bomb.
- Risalamande. For dessert, everyone eats a cold rice pudding with vanilla, almonds and whipped cream. Typically, there’s a single whole almond hidden in it. Whoever finds the almond wins a marzipan pig!
- Risengrød. Hot rice pudding served with plenty of butter and cinnamon is popular in December. This is also the christmas elves favourite dish and some Danes leave a bowl of hot rice pudding in the attic for the elves.
- Snaps. Is an important beverage for the Danish Christmas lunches. This is a foul tasting strong alcoholic drink made of potatoes and seasoned with dill, bog-myrtle or (yuk!) caraway.
- Gløgg. Mulled wine is an essential part of Christmas all over Scandinavia. In Denmark, the main ingredients are red wine, brown sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange. Make sure to add lots of raisins and split almonds before serving.
- Julebryg/juleøl. Strong Danish beer marketed at Christmas. They vary in strength and style, though tend to be malty and around 6% abv.
- Æbleskiver [Apple slices]. In Denmark, these (apple-free) spherical cakes are everywhere during the Christmas season. They are usually served hot with jam and powdered sugar and taste a bit like pancakes.
- Pebernødder [Pepper nuts]. These walnut-sized cookies are a traditional Danish Christmas treat. The (nut-free) spicy cookies are highly addictive and taste of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Christmas Eve celebration
Beware! When Christmas time rolls around in Denmark, you must be ready to wear a silly Christmas hat and dance around the Christmas tree:
- Santa Claus lives in Greenland. This is a known fact. People from outside of Denmark are simply misinformed.
- A Santa hat is the perfect thing to wear for adults in December.
- Presents are exchanged and opened after (Christmas) dinner on Christmas Eve. Santa's route definitely starts in Denmark!
- Before opening presents, Danes dance around the Christmas tree and sing songs.
- Real lit candles on the Christmas tree (usually). No matter how ‘hyggeligt’ this might look, it can still be a fire hazard.