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Archive for the 'Danish Holidays' Category

Fastelavn in Denmark: A Carnival Experience Like No Other

Carnival is a Christian holiday that’s celebrated in numerous countries, so it should come as no surprise that Denmark—a nation with a roughly 75% Christian population and a long history of spirituality—observes it, too. 

Called Fastelavn in Denmark, this holiday shares many things in common with Carnival celebrations in other countries as well as Western Halloween traditions. But there are some…fascinating…components of the Danish version that may surprise you! 

Are you ready to delve into this fun holiday and pick up some new Danish vocabulary?

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1. What is Fastelavn? 

A Sketch of a Danish Carnival Celebration

Fastelavn is the Danish version of the traditionally Catholic holiday of Carnival. It takes place seven weeks prior to Easter and, while not a public holiday, is widely celebrated throughout the country. The Danish Fastelavn has less of a religious connotation than Carnival traditions in other countries do, with a greater focus on festivities and fun.

Fastelavn History

The Christian Carnival holiday began in the Middle Ages, though it likely stemmed from pagan traditions. Denmark was likely introduced to this holiday via immigrants and missionaries, and over time, adapted the holiday to suit its Lutheran Christian religiosity (which was adopted in 1536). 

In many nations, Carnival began as a way to both indulge before the forty-day Lenten fasting season and to use up any perishable food items. This is why the heavy consumption of pastries is so popular on Carnival—these sweet treats were traditionally made in order to make use of ingredients like butter and eggs that would otherwise have gone bad. 

    → If you would like to learn the names of different religions in Danish, then head over to our Religion vocabulary list!

2. When is Fastelavn in Denmark? 

Because the Fastelavn date is determined by the dates of Easter and Lent, it varies from year to year. Here are the holiday dates for the next ten years. 

  • 2021: February 14
  • 2022: February 27
  • 2023: February 19
  • 2024: February 11
  • 2025: March 2
  • 2026: February 15
  • 2027: February 7
  • 2028: February 27
  • 2029: February 11
  • 2030: March 3

3. Fastelavn Traditions & Festivities

A Sketch of a Danish Carnival Barrel

Oftentimes, Fastelavn is compared to Halloween—and for good reasons! This holiday is primarily geared toward children, who dress up in costumes and ask their neighbors for sweets or money. If the words “Trick or Treat” mean anything to you, then you’ll resonate with the Danish tradition of singing the Fastelavn song Candy or Trouble (Slik Eller Ballade). Dressed in the forklædning (disguise) of their choice, the children sing this song as a playful warning that they’ll cause trouble if they don’t receive sweets! (Talk about hangry…)

Popular Fastelavn costumes include a fe (fairy), princesse (princess), superhelt (superhero), or other eventyrfigur (fairytale character). 

On the morning of Fastelavn, a common tradition among children is to make a Fastelavnsris (Carnival whip) using twigs or branches, and to decorate it with things like feathers or eggshells. With the Fastelavnsris, they whip or “flog” their parents awake—sort of like children in the U.S. waking their parents up on Christmas morning, right? This sets the tone for the day! 

In a fashion similar to hitting a piñata, children beat a barrel full of candy. Children take turns hitting the barrel, and two winners are named: the kattedronning (cat queen) who causes all of the candy to spill out and the kattekonge (cat king) who finishes completely breaking open the barrel. 

Because the Carnival holiday is traditionally associated with the Lenten fast as well as wintertime food scarcity, food is a major part of this holiday. The most popular Fastelavn food is Shrovetide buns, which are a sweet pastry containing some type of frosting or glaze on top and a delicious cream or jam filling in the middle. These Fastelavn buns can also be sprinkled with confectioners sugar or have additional sweet toppings. Many bakeries even give customers the option to customize their own Shrovetide bun based on their personal preferences.

4. About the Cat…

A Black Cat Against a White Cackground

You may be wondering why the children who break the Carnival barrel and spill the candy are called the “cat king” and “cat queen.” What do cats have to do with Fastelavn or candy, for that matter?

If you’re familiar with Halloween, you’ll know that many people are wary of spotting a sort kat (black cat) on this day. But even still, you may be surprised to hear about the following Fastelavn tradition, which was quite popular in the past. 

Traditionally, the Fastelavn barrel contained an actual black cat, which was either beaten to death upon the barrel breaking open or allowed to skimper off. But don’t worry! This morbid tradition has come to an end, kept alive only through the use of black cat stickers on barrels.

    → Are you an animal-lover? Then you can hop over to our Animal Names vocabulary list to learn how to talk about your favorite animals!

5. Useful Vocabulary for Fastelavn in Denmark

A Carnival Bun, also Called a Fastelavn Bun

Here are some useful words and phrases associated with Carnival in Denmark: 

  • Fastelavn (Carnival) – proper noun
  • Fastelavnsbolle (Carnival bun) – common noun
  • Fastelavnsris (Carnival whip) – neuter noun
  • Forklædning (Disguise) – common noun
  • Fe (Fairy) – common noun
  • Princesse (Princess) – common noun
  • Superhelt (Superhero) – common noun
  • Eventyrfigur (Fairytale character) – common noun
  • Kattekonge (Cat king) – common noun
  • Kattedronning (Cat queen) – common noun
  • Fastelavnstønde (Carnival barrel) – common noun
  • Rasle (Rattle) – verb
  • Ringridning (Tilting) – common noun
  • Fastelavnssoldater (Carnival soldiers) – common noun
  • Sort kat (Black cat) – proper noun

If you want to practice your pronunciation, make sure to visit our Carnival vocabulary list, where you can hear recorded audio pronunciations of each word. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Fastelavn is a fun holiday for children and adults alike. From adorable costumes to tasty treats, there’s really something for everyone. Do you celebrate Carnival in your country, or maybe a similar holiday? Tell us about it in the comments! 

If you would like to learn more about Danish culture and holidays, we highly recommend the following pages on DanishClass101.com

This barely scratches the surface of what DanishClass101 has to offer our students! From themed vocabulary lists to audio and video lessons on a range of topics, there’s something for every learner at every level to enjoy. It’s our goal to help you become a confident Danish speaker with the cultural knowledge you need to make the most of your newfound language skills. 

Until next time, happy learning. If you can, enjoy a Shrovetide bun for us! 😉

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Helligtrekongersdag: The Feast of Epiphany in Denmark

Epiphany in Denmark

Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, in Denmark is a Christian holiday celebrated by the religious and non-religious alike. In this article, you’ll learn how the Danish celebrate Epiphany and the stories behind this festive holiday.

At DanishClass101.com, it’s our goal to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative—starting with this article!

Are you ready? Let’s get started and delve into the Danish version of the Epiphany holiday.

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1. What is Epiphany in Denmark?

Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ Jesus as a divine being to those around him. In Denmark, this holiday specifically focuses on the visit of the three wise men, or Magi, to witness the birth of Jesus and present him with gifts of gold (guld), frankincense (røgelse), and myrrh (myrra). For this reason, Epiphany in Denmark is also known as Three Kings Day.

In some other cultures, especially in the East, Epiphany focuses more on the baptism of Jesus than the three Magi. It’s thought that the baptism of Jesus marked the time of the “epiphany” of the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

In Denmark, Epiphany is not a public holiday. In 1770, Epiphany was abolished as an official church holiday.

2. Feast of the Epiphany Date

Wise Men Figurines

Each year, the Danish celebrate Epiphany on January 6.

In Denmark, the day before Epiphany is known as Epiphany Eve, or Twelfth Night. The twelve days of Christmas begin on December 25 (Christmas Day) and conclude with Epiphany.

3. Epiphany Customs and Traditions in Denmark

Removing Christmas Decorations

On Epiphany Eve, Danish people smide juletræet ud, or “throw out the Christmas tree,” and fjerne julepynt, or “remove Christmas decorations.” This is thought to ward off bad luck. They then light three candles, or a single Three Kings candle, that represent the three wise men. When the candles burn out, it symbolizes the end of the Christmas season and marks the beginning of preparation for Lent.

In many churches, particularly Catholic churches, Epiphany is celebrated with special services. However, this holiday is important to Protestants as well.

Even non-religious persons participate in celebrations and services on Epiphany as a way to pay their respects and learn more about Christian culture. Many churches hold educational services that teach attendees about the birth of Jesus and the visit of the Magi.

For Epiphany, Denmark enjoys a range of good foods. Some of the most popular Danish dishes include pickled herring (marinerede sild), pickled gherkin (asie), and rullepølse, which is a type of rolled sausage. And the Epiphany holiday wouldn’t be complete without some mulled wine and desserts like cookies and jam!

4. A Word About These Danish Desserts

Since Denmark has a very diverse production of fruits and berries, there’s a huge level of jam production. In old times, jam was an important source of vitamins during winter. Many Danes still produce homemade jams and marmalades. The flavors are very different from house to house.

Many people have probably seen or received the famous tin can with a Danish picture on the front filled with sweet butter cookies. The biggest brand in Denmark is made by the Kelsen group. They distribute and sell cookie tins to over 110 countries. Danes produce and consume large amounts of cookies during the Christmas season.

5. Essential Danish Vocabulary for Epiphany


Ready to review some of the vocabulary words we covered in this article? Here’s some Danish vocabulary you should know for Epiphany!

  • Helligtrekongersdag — “Epiphany”
  • Guld — “Gold”
  • Helligtrekongerslys — “Epiphany candle”
  • Smide juletræet ud — “Throw out the Christmas tree”
  • Fjerne julepynt — “Remove Christmas decorations”
  • Helligtrekongers-optog — “Twelfth parade”
  • Vise mænd — “Wise Men”
  • Røgelse — “Frankincense”
  • Myrra — “Myrrh”
  • Helligtrekongersaften — “Twelfth Night”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Danish Epiphany vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Feast of Epiphany with us.

Do you celebrate Epiphany in your country? If so, do traditions there vary from those in Denmark? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you’re interested in learning more about Danish culture, or want a few more wintery words to get you through the next couple of months, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Danish doesn’t have to be boring or overwhelming—with DanishClass101.com, it can even be fun! If you’re serious about mastering the language, create your free lifetime account today.

Happy Danish learning! 🙂

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Luciadag: St. Lucy’s Day in Denmark

St. Lucy’s Day is a festive, cozy holiday in Denmark, celebrated not long before Christmas each year. In this article, you’ll learn all about St. Lucy’s Day, from who Lucy was to how Danish people celebrate the holiday today.

At DanishClass101.com, we aim to make every aspect of your language-learning process both fun and informative—starting with this article!

Are you ready? Let’s go.

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1. What is St. Lucy’s Day?

The Danish celebrate St. Lucy’s Day in the same month as Christmas, but don’t be fooled! This holiday, and the woman it’s named after, really have nothing to do with Christmas.

So who was Lucy? Read the following Danish text to find out, and then test your reading skills against the English text directly below it.

Legenden siger, at Lucia var en ung kristen kvinde, som nægtede at tilbede den romerske kejser og blev derfor dræbt og døde som martyr. Hun hjalp de fattige og syge, og det siges, hun bar lys på sit hoved, så begge hænder var frie.

The legend says that Lucy was a young Christian woman who refused to worship the Roman emperor, and as a result, was murdered and died a martyr. It’s claimed that she carried a light on her head when she cared for the old and sick to ensure her hands were free.

2. When is the Feast of St. Lucy?

Beautiful Sunset

Each year, the Danish celebrate the Feast of Saint Lucy on December 13.

3. St. Lucy’s Day Celebrations & Traditions

Sheet Music

How do the Danish celebrate Saint Lucy’s Day?

On St. Lucy’s Day, Denmark’s main event is the St. Lucy’s parades in kindergartens and elementary schools.

A St. Lucy’s parade involves kids dressing in white gowns with a red band around their waist, each with a lit candle and guided by a “St. Lucy’s bride.” The front guide representing St. Lucy is usually a girl, but could also be a boy. The St. Lucy’s bride carries a crown or a wreath on her head with four lit candles.

During the St. Lucy’s parade, a song about Lucy is played; this song explains how Lucy brings light to the darkness and spreads joy. After the parade, everyone eats Lucy-bread, which are sweet wheat rolls with a taste of saffron.

Oftentimes, these Saint Lucy celebration parades aren’t limited to the school. Rather, the children take their parade through nursing homes, churches, and even in the streets in order to further spread the holiday spirit!

Naturally, the adults who accompany the St. Lucy’s parades are nervous about the burning candles that the kids carry in their hands. This is why they always stand by with a bucket of water in case the candles’ flames light anything on fire.

Churches will usually hold some kind of special Christmas-related event during this holiday to attract more people on St. Lucy Feast Day.

4. Longest Night of the Year

Now that you know about Saint Lucy’s Feast Day, do you know what they call the night of December 13 and 14?

They call it Lussenatten—a name that originates from Sweden, where Lussenatten, according to the Julian calendar, was the longest night of the year. But in the morning, while it was still dark, one would wake up to Lucy (or the young girl on the farm) standing by their bed with food and drink on a tray.

5. Essential St. Lucy’s Day Vocabulary

Female Saint

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Saint Lucy Day in Denmark!

  • Hvid — “White”
  • Brød — “Bread”
  • Skole — “School
  • Kirke — “Church”
  • Sang — “Song”
  • Lys — “Light”
  • Italiensk helgeninde — “Italian female saint”
  • Martyrdød — “Martyrdom”
  • Årets korteste dag — “Shortest day of the year”
  • Optog — “Procession”
  • Brud — “Bride”
  • Krone — “Crown”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to visit our Danish St. Lucy’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on St. Lucy’s Day? Are there similar holidays or celebrations in your country during December? Let us know in the comments; we always love hearing from you!

Learning about a country’s culture may be the most fascinating and enriching aspect of trying to master its language. If you want more information about Denmark and her people, or perhaps some more wintery vocabulary, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Danish doesn’t have to be a boring or overwhelming process—with DanishClass101.com, it can even be fun!

If you’re serious about mastering the language, but don’t have time any unnecessary hassles, create your free lifetime account today!

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Fars Dag: How to Celebrate Father’s Day in Denmark

Father’s Day (or Fars Dag), admittedly, isn’t the most celebrated of Danish holidays, but that doesn’t mean that Danish fathers are left out in the cold! Keeping in mind that it takes place on the same date as the Constitution Day of Denmark, the honor and appreciation fathers are shown means that much more.

At DanishClass101.com, we hope to make learning about Danish holidays and traditions both fun and informative! After all, learning about a country’s culture is a vital step forward in mastering the language.

So let’s get started!

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1. What is Father’s Day in Denmark?

Father’s Day is easily overlooked because of Constitution Day, as both fall on June 5 every year.

The day is in many ways similar to Mother’s Day, but a significant difference is that most fathers probably take it less personally if the family has not remembered what day it is. They have often forgotten it themselves.

Of course, you can also find expectant fathers around the country on Father’s Day. And even more children with a guilty conscience about having forgotten it—especially adult children.

It is believed that Father’s Day stands in the shadow of Mother’s Day because the father role has not had an equal need to be celebrated and receive extra attention like the housewife role over time.

2. Father’s Day Date: When is Father’s Day?

Father's Day is on a Sunday

Denmark celebrates Father’s Day each year on June 5, which happens to be the same date as the Danish Constitution Day. For this reason, on Constitution Day, Denmark tends to put Father’s Day on a shelf, though there are still a few typical traditions which we outlined below.

3. Reading Practice: Father’s Day Celebrations

Showing Appreciation for Dad

How do the Danish celebrate Father’s Day? Read the Danish text below to find out about Danish holiday food for Father’s Day, and other Father’s Day celebrations in Denmark. You can find the English translation directly below it.

Men de, som ikke har glemt dagen, køber som regel gaver i form af øl, vin eller stærkere drikkevarer, chokolade, en god middag eller en oplevelsespakke. Nogle vælger også at købe, hvad man måske kan betragte som typiske ting, som fædre altid kan bruge. For eksempel værktøj, underbukser eller udstyr til grillen.

Traditioner for fars dag varierer fra familie til familie.

Har man for eksempel mindre børn, kan man som far næsten med sikkerhed forvente at få en hjemmelavet gave. Men noget andet, som normalt også hører med til gaven, er et hjemmelavet kort. I kortet står der venlige ord og kærlige hilsner, som måske betyder mere for en far, end blomster gør på mors dag.

I nogle familier kan det være tradition at servere morgenmad på sengen eller bare gøre lidt ekstra ud af morgenmaden.

Andre vælger måske at vente til om eftermiddagen og overraske med kage, hvorpå der for eksempel står skrevet ‘far’ med glasur.

Selvfølgelig er der også nogle, som venter med at fejre fars dag til om aftenen, hvor hele familien spiser ude eller laver manden i husets livret derhjemme.

Nogle fædre kan måske også lide bare at få lov til at være i fred.

But those who have not forgotten the day usually purchase gifts in the form of beer, wine, or stronger beverages, chocolate, a good dinner, or an experience package. Some also choose to buy what one might consider as typical things that fathers can always use. For example, tools, underpants, or equipment for the barbecue.

Traditions for Father’s Day vary from family to family.

For example, if you have small children, as a father you can almost certainly expect to get a homemade gift. But something else that also normally comes with the gift is a homemade card. Kind words and loving greetings are written in the card, which may mean more to a father than flowers do on Mother’s Day.

In some families, it may be tradition to serve breakfast in bed or just make a little extra out of the breakfast.

Others may choose to wait till the afternoon and surprise with cake on which, for example, “Father” is written in icing.

Of course, there are also some people who wait to celebrate Father’s Day until the evening, when the whole family eats out or makes the man of the house’s favorite food at home.

Some fathers may also like to just to be left in peace.

4. Communication Problems…

Do you know why Father’s Day is not celebrated on the second Sunday in November as in the other Nordic countries?

Because the Board of Nordic traders, who would rather have Father’s Day to be in the fall, forgot to communicate the changing of the date properly. So Denmark held on to June 5.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Father’s Day in Denmark

Coffee, Donut, and Gifts

Here’s some vocabulary for Father’s Day in Denmark!

  • Søndag — “Sunday”
  • Søn — “Son”
  • Datter — “Daughter”
  • Far — “Father”
  • Aftensmad — “Dinner
  • Elske — “Love”
  • Gave — “Present”
  • Lykønskningskort — “Greeting card”
  • Fejre — “Celebrate”
  • Gavekort — “Gift certificate”
  • Fars dag — “Father’s Day”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Danish Father’s Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.


What do Father’s Day traditions look like in your country? Are they similar or very different? Let us know in the comments!

To delve even deeper into Danish culture and the language, visit us at DanishClass101.com. We make it fun to learn Danish, while providing you with valuable information and practical learning tools for every student. Check out our free vocabulary lists, insightful blog posts like this one, and participate in our online community discussions! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin using our MyTeacher program, which allows you to learn Danish one-on-one with your own personal Danish teacher!

Keep studying and putting in the good effort, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Danish like a native! And DanishClass101.com will be here for every step of that journey.

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How to Celebrate the Easter Holiday in Denmark

For the Easter holiday, Denmark celebrates all week long. But the Monday after Easter (Easter Monday) is especially a time of celebration for the Danish.

Learn all about the Easter Monday traditions of the Danish, and get an answer to the question “Why do we celebrate Easter Monday?” with DanishClass101.com! We hope to make this learning experience fun and insightful for you. So let’s get started, and delve into Easter Monday’s meaning in Denmark.

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1. What is Easter Monday in Denmark?

Is the Monday after Easter a holiday?

Well, Easter includes Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Day. Together they form the Easter break, where most people are off from work and school, and the stores are closed. Easter Monday is the main day of celebration for the Danish, and is celebrated with an Easter Monday lunch.

Easter in Denmark is celebrated religiously as the week leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion and the day of his resurrection.

2. When is it?

Easter Eggs and Flowers

The date of Easter Monday varies from year to year, so for your convenience, here’s this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: April 22
  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17

3. How is it Celebrated?

Jesus Image in Stained Glass

How is Easter celebrated in Denmark? Read the Danish text below to find out (you can find the English translation directly below it).

I påsken holdes der mange påskefrokoster, hvor man spiser retter, der unægteligt ligner dem, man får til julefrokost. Der er fisk og smørrebrød, lune retter og til sidst ostebord. De lune retter må gerne indeholde lam, kylling eller æg. Hertil drikker man oftest påskebryg og så selvfølgelig snaps.

Påskens farve er gul og grøn, og pynten består af påskeæg, påskekyllinger, påskelam og påskeharer.

Alle fire symboliserer frugtbarhed, men i gamle dage kunne ægget også være et tegn på, at man var fri fra skyld eller gæld.

Derudover hører tulipaner, påskeliljer og vintergækker som forårsbebudere også påsken til. Og det er meget almindeligt at have grene med små skud. Nogle laver egen påskepynt ved at puste æg og derefter male de tomme skaller.

I Danmark er påskeæg oftest af chokolade og kan fås i forskellige størrelser eller formet som en påskehare. Men man kan også få påskeæg af pap, som så kan indeholde slik eller små chokoladeæg.

Dyrere påskeæg er med marcipan- og nougatfyld og er dækket af et tykt lag chokolade.

En sjov måde at få påskeæg på især for børn er ved at tage på æggejagt i haven, hvor påskeharen har gemt sine æg rundt omkring.

Til påske sendes der gækkebreve. Klip et mønster i et papir og skriv et digt og dit navn med prikker. Gætter modtageren afsenderen, skylder afsenderen et påskeæg. Hvis ikke, er det omvendt.

During Easter, many host Easter lunches, where food quite similar to the Christmas lunch is served. Examples include fish and open sandwiches, warm dishes, and a cheese tray. Warm dishes are often lamb, chicken, or eggs. With this the drinks served will typically be Easter brew and of course snaps.

The official color of Easter is yellow, and the decorations include Easter eggs, Easter chickens, Easter lamb, and Easter Bunnies.

All four represent fertility, but in the old days, the egg often meant that one was freed from guilt or debt.

In addition, tulips, daffodils, and snowdrops, which serve as universal symbols of spring, belong to Easter. And it is very common to see branches with small buds. Some people make Easter decorations by blowing out the contents of the egg and painting the shells.

In Denmark, you’ll find that most Easter eggs consist of chocolate and are available in various sizes, or shaped like an Easter Bunny. You can also get Easter eggs made of cardboard that contain candy or little chocolate eggs.

More expensive Easter eggs contain marzipan and nougat, and are covered by a thick layer of chocolate.

A fun way to get Easter eggs, especially for children, is to go hunting for them in the garden, where the Easter Bunny has hidden its eggs all over the place.

For Easter, people send each other gækkebreve. Cut a pattern in paper and write your name using dots; if the recipient can guess the sender, the sender owes an Easter egg. If not, the opposite is true.

4. Additional Information

Do you know the name of the day when the Easter brew is launched?

It’s called P-Day and is mostly celebrated by students. The “P” obviously stands for “Easter brew” (Påskebryg), as the “J” stands for “Christmas brew” (Julebryg). The launch of the Easter brew isn’t as heavily celebrated as the Christmas brew.

5. Must-know Vocab

Black and White Photos

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Easter Monday in Denmark!

  • Påske — “Easter”
  • Påskedag — “Easter Sunday”
  • Fejring — “Celebration”
  • Anden Påskedag — “Easter Monday”
  • Folkekirke — “Established church”
  • Mindes — “Remember”
  • Opstå — “Arise”
  • Kristus — “Christ”
  • Discipel — “Disciple”
  • Helligdag — “Holiday”
  • Opstandelse — “Resurrection”
  • Minde — “Memory”

To hear each word pronounced, check out our Danish Easter Monday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.


We hope you enjoyed learning about Denmark’s Easter Monday with us. What do you think about how the Danish celebrate Easter? Are celebrations similar in your country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture of Denmark and the Danish language, visit us at DanishClass101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow students. You can also create a Premium Plus account to take advantage of our MyTeacher program and learn Danish with your own personal Danish teacher!

Know that all of your hard work is going to pay off and make you a fluent Danish speaker—and we’ll be here for the entire way there! Best wishes, and happy Easter!

How to Say Happy New Year in Danish & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Danish New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join DanishClass101 for a special Danish New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Danish

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March – December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Danish? Let a native teach you! At DanishClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Danish New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Denmark
  2. Must-Know Danish Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Danish
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How DanishClass101 Can Help You Learn Danish

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Danish New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Denmark

How to Celebrate New Year

In Denmark, the New Year’s party continues into New Year’s Day on January 1st. But instead of warming up until midnight with food and amusement, the day starts with a bang, and the excitement gradually decreases by the hour.

Do you know how many New Year’s speeches Queen Margrethe the Second has delivered as of December 31, 2016?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

The biggest event on New Year’s Day is of course the fireworks that fill the skies when the clock in the Town Hall Square reaches 1 out of 12 beats.
Next, everyone wishes each other a happy new year while sipping champagne and eating almond cake. Most people watch the fireworks outside, so it is important to wear protective goggles if there are neighbours who are crazy about fireworks nearby. This is the only day of the year it’s legal to use fireworks without a special permit.

When the bells in the Town Hall Square in Copenhagen has chimed through all 12 beats, Denmark’s radio girl choir sing on TV the song “Be welcome, year of our lord.” You can sing or hum along right from your living room. After the national anthem is sung, but most people don’t stay to hear it since the party has gone outside or to the city to see fireworks. Since New Year’s Day is a holiday, the party will often continue into the wee hours until early morning.

Most stores are usually closed, and only a few restaurants choose to remain open on January 1st, especially fast food chains and barbecue places. That is why some people choose to end the night shortly after the fireworks to get some sleep before going to work. Many young people do party all night, work, and sleep when they get off work.

Because of major hangovers, the TV shows on January 1st are nothing but entertainment and easy-to-watch shows from your couch or bed. Examples of this would be the New Year’s Concert and ski jumps.

And now I’ll give you the answer to the earlier quiz.

Do you know how many New Year’s speeches Queen Margrethe the Second has delivered as of December 31, 2016?

As of December 31, 2016 she has delivered 46 New Year’s speeches.

Happy New Year!
Hav et godt nytår!

2. Must-Know Danish Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Danish Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Denmark could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight


The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day


In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party


A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing


Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne


Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks


These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown


This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts – a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

nytårsdag helligdag

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday – to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti


In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve


This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast


A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution


Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade


New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At DanishClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Danish New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Danish word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at DanishClass101 – what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Danish friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Læse mere.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Danish in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Danish language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Tilbringe mere tid med familien.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Tabe sig.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Spare penge.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to DanishClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year – it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Stoppe med at ryge.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Lære noget nyt.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess – no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Drikke mindre.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Træne regelmæssigt.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Spise sundt.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Danish with DanishClass101

at læse dansk med DanishClass101.com

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Danish, especially with us! Learning how to speak Danish can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. DanishClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Danish new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Danish, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Danish incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with DanishClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Danish could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Danish – it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Danish – learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with DanishClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Danish! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that DanishClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Danish at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Danish that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Danish with DanishClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Danish

How to Say Merry Christmas in Danish

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Danish? DanishClass101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Danish Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Danish speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, DanishClass101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Danish!

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Table of Contents

  1. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  2. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  3. Twelve Days of Christmas
  4. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  5. How DanishClass101 Can Help You

1. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Christmas Words in Danish

1- Merry Christmas!

Glædelig jul!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Danish? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Glædelig Kwanzaa!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Hav et godt nytår!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Glædelig Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Hav en god vinterferie!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Vi ses næste år!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

Varme ønsker!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Danish Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Glædelig jul!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Danish, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Nyd ferien!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Danish, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

Bedste ønsker for det nye år!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

2. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Danish! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At DanishClass101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas


This is the Danish word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Danish will include this word!

2- Snow


In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake


Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman


As you guessed – a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey


Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath


Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer


Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus


Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf


An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolf med den røde Tud

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole


The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled


A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present


Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell


On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney


The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace


In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day


This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration


Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking


According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly


Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house


According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane


According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe


Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

3. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Danish, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

4. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Danish! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

5. DanishClass101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

We don’t just say this – we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Danish for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Danish, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, DanishClass101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Danish. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in DanishClass101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!