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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Denmark, Lesson 1 - New Year's Eve
Hello and welcome to the Culture Class: Holidays in Denmark Series at DanishClass101.com.
In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Danish holidays and observances.
I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1, New Year's Eve. In Danish, it’s called nytårsaften.
New Year's Eve, of course, takes place on December 31st. In Denmark, people celebrate with big parties, silly paper hats, streamers, balloons, table bombs, blow horns, and whistles!
In this lesson, you'll learn more about special Danish traditions on New Year's Eve.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question:
What do Danish children sometimes drink on New Year's Eve at midnight?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In Denmark, it is more common to celebrate New Year’s with "friends," or venner, instead of family.
Couples with small children also often celebrate the holiday with other couples with "children" or børn.
A traditional Danish New Year's menu might include cooked "New Year's Cod" (or nytårstorsk), pork with creamed kale, and sugar-coated or boiled potatoes. Today, many people choose to serve non-traditional meals like sushi or a roast, especially after eating hearty, traditional meals at Christmas. Champagne, or sparkling wine, and almond cake is a must. They’re served at exactly midnight to welcome in the new year.
Most people gather around the TV or radio at 6 p.m. to see or hear the Queen's speech, in which she wishes the people a happy new year. "Happy New Year" in Danish is godt nytår.
Older children spend time outside and play New Year pranks, which often involve toothpaste, shaving cream, margarine, and confetti. The mixture is smeared on neighbors' windows, doorknobs, or even cars. Another classic is an exploding mailbox, so watch out!
Around midnight, the "clock", or ur, in City Hall Square in Copenhagen is streamed live on TV and everyone counts down together.
Many, regardless of age, jump into the New Year from a chair. Traditionally, it was thought that this helped prevent danger in the new year. But of course, nowadays, it's just for fun.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question:
What do children sometimes drink at midnight on New Year's Eve in Denmark?
They drink children's champagne — a kind of sparkling cider without alcohol.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at DanishClass101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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