However during the month of December most shops are open Sundays and the last week up to Christmas most shops have late night trading.
From October the 1st
2012 the rules for shopping hours was changed and today all shops can open 24/7
in Denmark except on the Constitution Day the 5th of June,
Christmas Eve the 24th
of December and after 3 pm on New Year’s eve.
The “nisse” a
mythical little creature, is an old Danish tradition as well.
Legend says it is
an old little man dressed in red and gray with a white beard and usually with a
wooden spoon in
his hand, he was believed to be hundreds of
One of the Danish
traditions was to put Rice porridge out
for him at Christmas Eve, to keep the friendship with the “nisse”.
The Advent Calendar.
The kids have an
Christmas calendar that is opened the first time on the first day of
December, they come today in a variety, some with a picture and some with chocolate and one window is opened
every day until Christmas eve.
There is also a
Christmas calendar made
by a Danish television
station. Every night in the month of December
until Christmas Eve they screen half an hour of a story about the “nisse”, and
a new series is made most years.
television calendar was
such a big hit that today there is an adult’s version made as well. And today
this is part of Christmas in Denmark as well.
The Danish Christmas Food.
At Christmas in Denmark Danish Dough Fritters (Æbleskiver) is
also a Danish tradition during the month of December, the best way to describe
them is that the dough is similar to a pancake mix but baked in a special pan
so they come out like small round balls, some are made with a slice of apple
inside that’s where they get the name apple slices, in Danish they are called "Aebleskiver".
They are served with
jam and sugar or icing sugar.
For more information
about Danish Christmas Recipes see Danish Recipes.
Aebleskiver & Gløgg.
The apple slices are
usually served with a glass of “Gløgg”, Gløgg is another Danish tradition at
Christmas, originally from Sweden, It is made by heating up
red wine and adding a bit of snaps or brandy and spices like cardamom, cinnamon
and sultanas and pieces of almond.
In many Danish homes people are cooking homemade Danish Christmas cookies during the month of December and many people use to wrap them up nicely and use them as a little gift to neighbours or work colleague.
Danish Christmas cookies.
The bakeries are busy
too, making their ”Berliner” and “Klejner”. Berliner is similar to a jam donut
but the filling is prune jam instead of raspberry jam and Klejner is a pastry
cooked in oil.
There is also the traditional Christmas cake, cookies and
Christmas cakes made out of Danish pastry.
Roast Pork or Duck?
The big decision on
Christmas Eve is whether to have roast Pork or Duck. If the family is big you
are in luck, they may have both.
Christmas Eve is
usually celebrated with family and starts with traditional roast pork with
crackers or a roast duck. Served with caramel glazed potatoes, white potatoes,
red cabbage and gravy.
The dessert is
usually Ris a l'amande, a kind
of rice pudding, served with cherry sauce, in which there is a whole almond
hidden, whoever finds the almond win a price.
The Christmas tree
used to be decorated on Christmas Eve, and not shown off to the rest of the
family until after dinner, but in most homes today it is a part of the
decoration leading up to Christmas.
After dinner, the Christmas tree lights are turned on and the whole family hold each other’s
hands and walk around the tree singing Christmas carols.
After a few Christmas
carols the gifts are handed out either by someone dressed up as santaclaus
(especially if there are small kids) or a member of the family and coffee and almond cakes, marzipan and
chocolate is served while the gifts are been opened.
The two following
Christmas days 25th and 26th of December are public holidays where most shops
are closed, apart from the service stations and a few corner shops.
The Christmas in
Denmark is usually celebrated with a family and friend’s get-together over a Danish
smorgasbord with beer and Danish schnapps (aquavit) and it is
quite common that a setting lasts anywhere between 3 to 6 hours and sometimes
Most work places put
a Christmas party on during the month of December and again here the
traditional food to be served is the smorgasbord with
plenty of snaps and beers.
The time between
Christmas and New Year is usually pretty quiet where most families spend some
quality time together.