The evening of Sankt Hans is a very big danish tradition even if it's a little odd as it's a weird mix of christian and pre christian traditions, combined with some good old witch burning.
The evening was traditionally celebrated by the danes as the longest day of the year, but then christianity came around and they tried to incooperate the tradition in to christian beliefs by celebrating John the baptists birthday at the same time.
This was at the time where the church was obsessed with burning any woman who could think for herself, claiming that she was a witch and even if the danes no longer burn witches then they still burn a fake witch on the bonfire that night.
The bonfires are all over the country, especially along the coastline and the danes they meet to sing and drink beer around the fires that night.
I totally understand if foreigners find this tradition with it's rather silly and weid background quite strange, but i assure you that you have to look for a long time to find anything more danish and i would really recommend you to go out and join the danes if you happen to be there on june 23 as it is one laid back party that can be found in every single town and village that day.
It seems not uncommon to be served 'Bitters' for breakfast on special occasions. This was a really nice surprise for me. Sometimes we'll have a champagne brunch, but alcohol is not usually served with breakfast.
I stayed in a couple of homes while in Danmark so had a glimpse of life as lived in this part of the world. One of the most impressive aspects was to realize that guests are treated royally and for this self sufficient American, such treatment is greatly appriciated and fondly remembered.
Beware of the "Fartcontrol" in Danmark ! It has nothing to do with the english meaning of the word "fart", but it is the speed-control ! In almost any small village in Danmark you will have such a control that will show the exacte speed you are driving.
50km/h is the maximum and when you go any faster the lights on top will start to blink and you never know for sure, whether they will make a photo of your licenceplate or not.
This might come as a big suprise to many, but the word "please" does not excist in danish.
When you have a conversation with a dane and it would be obvious to use the word please, a dane might not do so.
That is in most cases not because he/she is unpolite, but because we don´t do that when we talk to eachother in daily life.
when you are at a bar you just: "could i have a beer" and that is it.
No please is needed.
The danes are very sensitive about critisizm towards their country.
They tend to spend all day complaining about it, but if any foreigner says one negative word they will flip all over the place.
Don't tell a dane that 60 procent income tax is too high :O)
Don't tell him 25 procent vat is too high :O)
Don't laugh at the danes when they all wait for the read man to go green at the pedestian crossing, even though there is not a car in sight :O)
And last of all.
Don't tell them that they could benefit from being a little more international :O)
I am from Poland and people in my country are raised with tales of uprisings, strikes and constant battle for freedom against -really-any power and authority. So imagine it is for me to enter a world of law abiding citizens, honesty and ... well it is heaven!
People in Denmark act not only like they wouldn't brake any law or regulation but llike something like this would never cross their mind. And they expect the others would feel the same way. For example, you should pay for elextricty at the campgrounds but they expect you to tell that you used it. At most campgrounds they couldn't even tell by themselves if you used it or not. I've been to museums where they never checked if we had tickets... Some might call in naive to trust the human nature so much, but I respect their way of lives.
The best thing was when we got pulled by police in Copenhagen - not because we did something wrong but because it was Saturday night and they have been checking random cars. The policeman came to the driver and asked if he had been drinking (!). We said no, and they let us go without checking! Of course we said the truth but I've never heard of police who'd take your word for granted. Something like this could only happen in Denmark!
People in Denmark are very friendly... I wouldn't believe that statement before I went there. I always imagined the Danes as "typical" Scandinavians; cool, controlled and well kept to themselves. But this is not the case! People in Denmark are extremely polite, friendly and helpfull and that doesn't diverse much between the big cities and small towns. Everywhere you go you will be greated with a smile and treated with respect, doesn't matter where you come from or what language you speak.
Denmark is the world’s largest exporter of Christmas trees and produces 6 to 7 million of the 50 million Christmas trees annually used in Europe. Nordmann (or Caucasian) fir is the most popular Christmas tree grown in Denmark.
This flower drink is delicious!!!
if you are in Denmark, you must ask for a hylleblomst!
It's served iced, or warm... we tried it warm at "Mette Søgaard Hansen" in Roskilde, as we waited for the rest of the VT crew to show up the first night of our trip; and it was delicious!
(better than tea!)
Some might find it too sweet, but it was really yummy, I truly enjoyed it!
not sure what kind of flower it is, but I think they also use this juice to mix it up with ice cream, for sundaes? shakes?
You can partly see it here, in front of Claus (the drink peeking through - with a couple of straws on it) - that's the only time I was able to capture it :o)
Danish hotdogs were better than New York hotdogs!
The Danish hot dog features a long, thin bright-red sausage, similar to a foot-long hot dog in the USA They steam the hot dog sausage and the bread is warmed in either an oven or toaster. Ketchup, mustard and remoulade sauce (I did not know what that remolade sauce was... until I tried it in the hotdogs from Roskilde) and that is followed by a sprinkling of either raw or toasted onion (mmmmmm, gives it a yummy sweetness!) and a layer of cucumber salad, marinated in a sweet vinegar sauce as you see on the picture
The best way I can describe what Æbleskiver are is like a pancake made into a little ball and fried. Danes eat these yummy "apple slices" with strawberry jam and powder sugar and glögg (se my Sweden page) to drink to them. They're so good!
Traditionally they used to have apple bites but nowadays they shine for their absence (hehe, no offense), if you do them the "modern way".
Æbleskiver are eaten usually during Christmas.
Smørrebrød is a special kind of Danish sandwich : first of all it is mostly made of dark, whole-wheat-bread and it is covered with fish, meat and/or vegetables, pickles etc.
Mostly there is no majonaise.
Mostly you may get Smørrebrød in bakeries or also a few "Smørrebrød-shops" like one that I remember close to Tivoli in Copenhagen. Some of these places are open only in the morning for a few hours and mostly you may eat these great sandwiches right away at small standing-tables or you take them home.
My favorite kind of Smørrebrød is the one with liver-pate, it comes with pickles and tastes delicious, it is the one on the bottom to the right of my picture, it is a pity that the pic looks so lousy (still a scanned slide and using the flash was no good idea eighter...
Smørrebrød are not really cheap, but tasty and filling !
When walking in the side-streets of Ribe or any other old village in Danmark, take a closer look at the large variety of great and colorfull doors. There seems to be a competition among the many house-owners to have the most beautiful entrance-door, while the faceds of the houses are mostly alike in red bricks.
See people in their traditional costumes and merchants, farmers, hat-makers etc. at work in the open-air-museums like "Den Gammle By" in Aarhus. These museums are open like small villages during the evening and night, and you may take a walk through them freely and without restrictions. During the day - according to the opening-hours - the doors of the museum will be locked again and you have to pay some entrance-fee, BUT you also get to see the people in their costumes, working and selling their merchandise in the old houses of the museum.
The changing of the guards in Amalienborg Slot is a nice event for the tourists and it takes place every day at noon in front of Amalienborg Palace. Dont expect a big ceremony like in Bukingham Palace, it starts quite un-spectekular, when some soldiers get out of a side-wing and start marching towards the collegues on duty.
All of the ceremony is over after 4-5 minutes, you may approach the soldiers, or march behind of them, like some children did, while I saw the ceremony last time...
Something that you should know : they look cute and friendly, BUT they also have a machine-gun and are more than just a funny touristattraction. They will shout at everyone, trying to sit in front of the palace etc. Pics can be taken of them and sometimes they even will show something like a smile ;~)
A found this a great Hilton property to use with early flights out of Copenhagen. It is an easy...more
A cosy 4 star hotel. We were glad we stayed here for the night. They have very friendly personnel....more
Fredens Torv 12, Arhus, Jutland, 8000, Denmark
Good for: Couples
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