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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Denmark, Lesson 9 - J-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 9, J-Day. In Danish, it’s called j-dag.
The first "snow" of the season will always fall on the first Friday in November. You don't need a sled or skis, just some good friends, a good mood, and maybe a bottle opener.
The "snow" is, in reality, Tuborg’s Christmas Brew, a seasonal brew which is launched at 8:59 p.m. all over the country. This day is known as j-dag, or “J-Day,” the “J” being the first letter in the Danish word for the seasonal "Christmas brew" (Julebryg).
In this lesson, you'll learn more about what the Danish associate with J-Day and how it is celebrated.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question:
Why is J-Day celebrated on the first of November at 8:59 pm?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Danes know the "Christmas snow" and thus J-Day, is right around the corner when the first Tuborg Christmas Brew commercials appear on their screens.
In the traditional commercial, "Santa", or julemanden, is on his sleigh and pulled by a reindeer to the Jingle Bells tune. When the Tuborg beer truck approaches from the opposite lane and honks the horn, it doesn't take more than a few seconds before the "reindeer", or rensdyr, makes a 180-degree turn and heads after the truck. At the end of the night, they wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Tuborg Year!
It’s important to know where the "snowstorm" hits. Therefore, before J-Day, an official bar list is announced so people will know which bars and dance clubs Tuborg's Christmas helpers will visit.
Many of the "taverns," or værtshuse, may give free Christmas Brew to their first 100 guests, and then sell it cheap for the rest of the night.
For many people, it has become a tradition to follow the truck or horse carriage around the streets from pub to pub.
Tuborg's Christmas helpers' task is to spread the Christmas spirit, since J-Day itself is the first sign that Christmas is coming.
Santa's girls and boys are dressed in short dresses or suits in the Christmas Brew's familiar blue and white colors.
In addition to free Christmas Brew, you may also get lucky and get some of the official merchandise, which is also passed out by Santa's entourage. Merchandise is usually Santa hats and other clothing.
The Danish "police", or politi, always summon extra personnel on J-Day. Many medical centers and the train station do the same to ensure that people get home without driving.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question:
Do you know why J-Day is the first of November at 8:59 pm?
From 1990-1998 the launch used to be on the 2nd Wednesday in November at 11:59 pm, meaning many young people didn't show up for class the following day. That is why J-Day was moved in 1999.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you celebrate something similar to J-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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