Godt nytår!

Happy 2015 from Denmark! It’s our first year here, so we were curious about some of the Danish traditions.

We spent the evening with our friends and their family at their house (American & Danish). Dinner, boardgames (Sequence and Blokus!), lots of different Danish and Belgian Christmas beers. Danes traditionally eat cod for dinner on New Years, but we had roast beef (our friend Peter is an excellent cook!).

Shortly before midnight, everyone gathered in the living room to watch the Queen’s speech on TV – wishes for a prosperous New Year and smart but welcoming solutions to the new immigrants joining Danish society (I guess that counts us too?). And in the last few minutes of 2014, we all stood on chairs, perched and ready to jump down into 2015! Hop! Then everyone shared a special hoop-shaped marzipan cake for a sweet new year.

Next, we all bundled up to head outside, because the sky was exploding! Back in the States, it’s typical to drive somewhere (and sit in traffic) to watch a big fireworks celebration (especially on July 4th), but here in Denmark, fireworks are legal, so everyone puts on their own show! Boomboomboomboomboomboomboom – everywhere we looked, in every direction, huge displays were going off in the sky. It lasted well over an hour – B said they were still going off at 2am, after the boys and I had already passed out at home. And this is just a sleepy little town – I can’t imagine a larger city like Aarhus or Copenhagen! Our friends had to sedate their dog that evening so she could make it through the barrage without a nervous breakdown. Our landlord had done the same thing for his dog too, so I expect it’s pretty common here!

This is also apparently a big night for tricksters. We saw lots of toilet-papered trees on our drive home, but that’s mild compared to what the hooligans will do if you haven’t taken down or chained up your mailbox. They apparently like to set off explosives in there too! (In fact, this is specified on our new lease – the mailbox will be removed 12/31 and put up again on 1/2). So much for Danes being inveterate rule-followers!

Thanks again to our friends for hosting a memorable night! Godt nytår!

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