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Kulturnatten – The Culture Night
Friday night of week 41 – middle of October – is The Culture Night in Copenhagen, and in some locations across Denmark as well. The date varies, but in 2007 it will be on October 12th.
All sorts of places are open to the public. Museums and sights, institutes and institutions, shops, zoo, parliament, and Copenhagen city hall, will be open until 10pm – some until midnight. All have different events, listed at the kulturnatten website.
It’s a great way to see a lot of places after hours – and in some cases even get inside at all!
With the cheap Kulturnatten-badge, admission is free everywhere. Badges are sold at almost all participating locations.
The Copenhagen Carnival takes place every year at Whitsun (40 days after Easter), in Kongens Have by Rosenborg Castle.
The modern Carnival was started in 1982, and Whitsun chosen, since the February climate in Denmark does not invite to staying outdoors for long.
The Carnival used to be much bigger – all over the walking streets of Copenhagen, and a few of the side streets as well. But irresponsible use of fireworks caused an unfortunate fire back in 1992, and the entire carnival moved to the site of the childrens carnival.
Copenhagen is far away from Rio – and so is the carnival. The costumes are not quite as elaborate, and the samba not quite as good. But they try, and invite you to try as well!
It’s generally agreed that Copenhagen is one of the best places in Europe to listen to live jazz. The Danes have been serious about their jazz music for at least 60 years, and have a long roster of accomplished home-grown talent, and welcome talented performers of all kinds from every corner of the jazz world. Two good places to find live jazz are the Copenhagen Jazzhouse (http://www.jazzhouse.dk/) and the historic La Fontaine (http://www.lafontaine.dk/). Or you might find excellent players performing for free. Here a spirited young chanteuse gets into her groove on an open stage in front of the Rådhus.
Hot Music in a Hot Town
For two weeks every summer Kobenhavn hosts a jazz festival. Look for acts in dozens of venues located throughout the city. Big names, small names, indoor, outdoor, swing, bebop, fusion, dixieland...any combination you can think of, they got it.
This was from one of the more crowded performances given in front of Nyhavn.
Don't think people hibernate up here just because autumn has come! In early October every year, the city arranges the "Kulturnatten" which is a great event. Whilst many European capitals have otherwise closed buildings open to the public once a year, I don't know of any other doing it at night! This means that not only can you get to see a ministry or hidden treasure, but also get to see SPOOKY things. How about going to the Zoological Museum armed with only a torch light, shining on the skeletons of rhinos and lions :))) Children love it. Or how about discovering the royal Rosenborg Castle in torch light?
There are plenty of things to see and do, just remember to book a table in a restaurant if eating out in the evening as it is packed! To get into all these things, you buy a pin (DKK 70 in 2004) which is then put on your coat. Not only does this let you in everywhere that is open, it also lets you travel for free on public transport between the sights! When you buy the pin, you also get a programme so you can see what's going on, but there is also a webpage where you can create your own programme for an evening. My tip is to make it local - don't try to travel around like a yo-you but stick to one area and see what's on offer there - you will have to queue here and there anyway.
My daughter's favourite was the visit to the zoo at night (picture). This is of course when all the predators are awake and alert, so that the lions you normally see asleep on some lawn in their area are now busy tearing at the meat thrown to them. There are plenty of feeding times for all interesting "nocturnal" animals. The wolves in the picture were very interesting as they took it in turns to get the meat...
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