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Christmas in Denmark: Danish Christmas Traditions


Christmas in Toender, Denmark

Christmas in Toender, Denmark

Cees van Roeden / VisitDenmark.com
This article is part of the series Christmas in Scandinavia

Celebrating Christmas in Denmark, but not sure what the Danish Christmas traditions are? Let's find out!

First of all, Merry Christmas (... and a Happy New Year) in Danish is Glaedelig Jul, or God jul (... Og Godt Nytar.)

Watch out when you spend Christmas in Denmark. During Christmas in Denmark, the mischievous Danish elf Nisse plays pranks on people. Nisse often lives in old farmhouses and wears gray woolen clothes, red bonnet and stockings and white clogs. As a good elf, Nisse generally helps people on the farms and is good with children but plays jokes during the holiday season. On Christmas Eve in Denmark, many families leave a bowl of rice pudding or porridge for him so that he is friendly to them and keeps his jokes within limits.

Children are allowed to help decorate the Christmas tree in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The traditional Christmas starts on December 23 with hot cinnamon-laced rice pudding ("Grod") served with a knob of butter.

On December 24, Christmas Eve, Danes often have a Christmas dinner consisting of duck or goose, red cabbage and caramelized potatoes. Afterwards, the dessert is another rice pudding; this time it is a lighter type with whipped cream and chopped almonds, and it is served cold. This rice pudding contains one whole almond. The finder of the almond wins a prize, which is usually chocolate or marzipan.

A traditional breakfast item during Christmastime are Danish cupcakes called Ableskiver.

On the night of Christmas in Denmark families gather around Christmas trees, exchange presents (find out about 7 Danish gift ideas and the top 10 Scandinavian gifts here) and sing carols. December 25 is usually spent celebrating with family by having a long lunch of cold cuts and different types of fish, along with Aquavit for the adults.

Have a nice trip and merry Christmas in Denmark and make sure to visit the special Christmas Celebrations in Tivoli Park, Copenhagen!

Go back up to the main article Christmas in Scandinavia for more Christmas traditions!

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