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Insights into the Danish way of life – Week 12

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Happy almost Easter! Although the celebration will be taking place on Sunday, March 31, Denmark will enjoy an extended weekend from Thursday to Monday.

If you’re into art and crafts, it’s the perfect time to pull out some scissors and dive into Danish traditions. Give a try to making a gækkebrev – or “snowdrop letter”! You start by folding a piece of paper and cutting elaborate shapes out of it. Then, write a small poem in the center and sign anonymously, with the number of dots that correspond to the amount of letters in your name. Your friends and family will have to guess who it’s from, and if they succeed, you owe them an egg.

Danes are big fans of long holiday meals, and this is no exception. On Easter Sunday, families and friends gather around the table for a full afternoon of Påskefrokost – or Easter lunch – characterized by the typical rye bread and toppings. Some of the favorites are boiled eggs, fried fish, herring, liver paté, lamb and an infinite variety of cheese. Of course, there is also Påskebryg, the Easter beer. You will recognize the cans at the supermarket, as they are decorated with chicks and other festive drawings.

Last week, we mentioned that winter aconites are blossoming all over. Another big flower this month is the daffodil, or påskelilje, which translates to “Easter lily”. Although nowadays a big part of the population leads a secular life, Easter remains a big event for Danes regardless of their religion. The holiday works as a ritual of passage: the end of winter, the beginning of spring. This is why most of the decorations are related to the season, and stores are filled with shades of yellow, mint green and pastel pink. We wish you a pleasant couple of days filled with rest, fun and hopefully plenty of sunshine. Skål!

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