All posts filed under: Danish Traditions

“Meet the Danes” at the National Museum of Denmark

Here is a great recommendation for everyone traveling to Denmark hoping to experience some of that world famous hygge: The National Museum of Denmark has started a free guided tour series called “Meet the Danes” where you can meet a Dane who will give an insider’s view of the Danes, Danish culture and society. You will get an answer to puzzling questions such as why Danes leave their sleeping babies in prams outside cafes, why Danes bicycle so much, what hygge is all about and whether the Danes really are the happiest people on Earth! On Tuesdays in July you will also be able to enjoy a classic Danish lunch with a Dane in the museum’s historical courtyard. You can read more about these tours via this link:┬áMeet and Eat with the Danes. I am so excited about this initiative at the National Museum of Denmark as the Danes and their culture are not always easily accessible to non-Danes. Many who travel there, or even live there, find the Danes a bit cold and reserved …

Danish Midsummer in America

  We celebrated Sankt Hans Eve (Midsummer’s Eve) last night with a bonfire and bread baked on wooden sticks over hot coals (called “snobroed” in Danish, literally: “twisted bread”). Snobroed is super easy to make. It is a basic bread dough with milk in that rises for about an hour and then you divide it into the number of bread sticks you want, roll them with your hands into long rolls that you then twist around bamboo sticks and bake over the hot coals until golden brown and they sound hollow. Serve with ketchup. Pretty tasty and always a hit with kids around.  

Midsummer Eve Bonfires and Witches

  Last night the Danes celebrated Sankt Hans Evening (St. John’s Eve) with bonfires and witches! This was originally a pagan celebration of summer solstice and the magical shortest night of the year but after the introduction of Christianity it also became the celebration of John the Baptist’s birthday which is supposedly today June 24th. There used to be a lot of superstition related to this night. Mean witches were scared away and sick people went to holy springs hoping their illnesses would be cured on this night where light was stronger than darkness. As a symbol of chasing evil forces away Danes burned a hay witch on top of the bonfire – a practice that is still very common in Denmark! Danes jokingly say that on the evening of Sankt Hans: “the witches are being sent off to Brocken” (the highest point of the Herz mountains in Germany). Interestingly, this pagan/Christian tradition is still highly popular in Denmark. Every year on June 23rd you can see bonfires with witches lightening up the bright midsummer …