Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Denmark for the first time? Wondering what New Year’s Eve traditions Danes have? (because it is Denmark and you know they’ll have traditions). Here’s what you need to throw an authentic Danish New Year’s Eve party and celebrate like a Dane:
1. A television that airs DR for:
The Queen’s speech: starting precisely at 6:00 PM, Queen Margrethe will address the nation from Christian IX’s Palace, Amalienborg. Having watched her address for the past two years now, I’m fascinated by her views on current global (climate change! green strategies!) and local (banking scandals in Denmark!) issues. I also chuckle quietly to myself when I see her shuffling papers around and making a mistake here and there – she is human and we do live in casual, easygoing Denmark where formalities are too much for Danes. Remember not to arrive late for the speech! And Danes usually stand up and gather around the telly with a glass of champagne. Gud bevare Denmark. God bless Denmark.
“Dinner for one”: “Same procedure as every year, James” Prior to the new year’s countdown, the Danish National Broadcaster DR will air a short, black-and-white film called “Dinner for one,” or “90-års fødselsdagen” – The 90th birthday” as the Danes call it. The film is quite amusing…but watching it also means that midnight is close!
The countdown: The countdown to midnight from Copenhagen’s City Hall Square, Rådhuspladsen.
No TV? You can access DR online or by Smart TV.
2. Little streamers
Decorate your home with streamers you can buy at your local supermarket. They’re cheap yet festive. I remember two years ago, waking up from my long, jetlagged nap in the afternoon (having just come back to Denmark from Canada the day before) to find that my husband decorated our apartment with streamers! I loved it.
3. A three-course meal
You’ll see a lot of catering companies advertising that you can pre-purchase 3-course meals for New Year’s Eve parties. My husband and his friends preferred to celebrate New Year’s Eve at each other’s places rather than go to a restaurant. To make it easier for the host, they would pre-order a 3-course dinner from Cofoco. It’s a great way to avoid cooking, have a quality meal, and hygge it up inside.
The perfect dessert for New Year’s Eve, the one thing you need to eat on New Year’s Eve in Denmark, is kransekage, or “wreath cake.” It consists of concentric marzipan cake rings stacked up and decorated with white icing. Local bakeries will ask you to preorder your kransekage weeks before New Year’s Eve.
5. A couch to jump off on
When you’re watching the countdown indoors, everyone finds the highest point to jump off on when the clock strikes 12, and that’s usually the couch. Literally jumping into the new year symbolizing overcoming the difficulties and challenges ahead.
6. Lots of champagne/wine
Those Danes love to drink, as we all know. This is evident anytime, but more so on New Year’s Eve where the party is going, the champagnes and wines are flowing. Enjoy the drinking!
7. Fireworks / bordbomber
Danes are permitted to use fireworks from December 27 to January 1, so expect to hear a lot of them between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Danes love fireworks! And they light a massive amount of them on New Year’s Eve. It’s exciting to watch from indoors.
But you can participate in the fireworks festivities indoors as well – just buy bordbomber, small table “crackers” that explode confetti when lit up.
I hope you have a happy New Year’s Eve party, and enjoy Danish elements you have at your celebration to go along with your own traditions
Happy New Year from the Spousecare Team!