Copenhagen is one of the coziest cities ever so you can imagine just how perfect it is at Christmastime. I was lucky enough to be able to experience some Danish Christmas traditions and see Copenhagen beautifully decorated for the holiday season before coming home for Christmas. I made a list of the traditions, places, and treats I love the most. 🙂
1. Christmas Markets
I am pretty sure Nicolas and I visited a total of FIVE Christmas markets in Copenhagen. They are everywhere, and I cannot begin to describe how festive and unique each and every one was. There were so many vendors, yummy treats, decorations, and music. SO cozy.
Gløgg is the Danish version of mulled wine, and it is so delicious. You can find it at Christmas markets or make it yourself at home. It is traditionally made with red wine and a combination of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, raisins, and almonds. It is served warm and smells spicy and rich – just like the holidays.
3. The Calendar Candle
I had never heard of this tradition before, but it easily became one of my new favorites. It is a very simple Christmas candle with 24 markings. You burn the candle down a little bit every day until it reaches the 24th. We lit ours every night at dinner and watched it burn throughout the evening. It was so nice.
4. Christmas Eve Dinner
In Denmark, the big Christmas celebration is on Christmas Eve. Nicolas’s family celebrates with a beautiful, big dinner followed by the Danish tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree and exchanging gifts. We had a classic Christmas dinner of roast pork, potatoes with brown gravy, and red cabbage salad at our family gathering in Copenhagen.
Along with pork, risengrød is another classic Christmas food. It is basically a rice pudding served warm with cinnamon sugar and a pat of butter on top. For me, it is the definition of comfort food! It can be eaten for breakfast or dinner, and is also fed to the little elf that resides in the attic during the month of December. Which leads me to my next favorite …
6. Elves/ Gnomes
Though they are tiny, elves (or in Danish “nisser”) play a very big part in Christmas tradition. They can be found in Christmas songs, television shows, decorations, and even in the attic! The elves also help Santa (who lives in Greenland) and sometimes leave small presents for the children throughout the month of December.
7. The City’s Holiday Decorations
Copenhagen is decorated so beautifully during Christmastime. Every street, business, and store participates in making the city festive. My favorite display is on the top of the Hotel D’Angleterre which features icicles and life-size polar bears enjoying a very fancy holiday party!
And that concludes my final Christmas blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about two things so very dear to my heart – Christmas and Denmark – and that you are enjoying the peaceful week between Christmas and New Years. It is still the most wonderful time of the year. 🙂