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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Denmark, Lesson 8 - Sports Day
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 8, Sports Day. In Danish, it’s called Skolernes Motionsdag.
As the school year approaches autumn break in Denmark, students are, of course, eager for a respite from their coursework. However, before students can break free from their classrooms, they must participate in the School Sports Day.
It may be exhausting, but it's also a fun day where students participate in non-academic school activities.
In this lesson, you'll learn what Sports Day is all about.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question:
What has been the highest number of participants for Sports Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Traditions associated with Sports Day vary depending on the school, but the point is to ensure that the students receive a joint sport experience. The Danish word for "sport" is sport.
The day usually involves only public and sport schools, but other institutions may also choose to host the event to create a sense of togetherness and break from the typical routine.
In some schools, the children choose if they want to compete by "running", løb, or "cycling", cykling.
The morning starts with a joint warm-up, either in the school's gym, front area, or another outside area. In certain schools, the warm-up is divided by classes, but generally, everyone in the school warms up together, including the teachers. The "warm-up," or opvarmning, involves music. Teachers and students from the higher grades work together to put on the show.
The race starts shortly after the warm-up. Students may either start all together or divide up into classes or smaller teams in intervals, depending on the number of students at the school.
The students can choose which distances they will run, which may be 5, 10, 15, or 20 kilometers, and many schools use fixed distances each year of the race. Normally, some of the teachers will participate, while others are placed along the route to manage and cheer on students.
After finishing the race, participants celebrate with sugar drinks and cake. Now, with the recognition that this particular tradition is at cross-purposes with a healthy lifestyle, and with a growing focus on healthy eating, the candies are being replaced with fruit. Many people will also eat their lunches while running or after the "race", or løb in Danish.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question:
Do you know what the highest number of participants on Schools’ Sports Day has been?
In 2008, a total of 707,802 participated in the race, which was a new record at the time – at least until the next count.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate Sports Day 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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