A discussion of December happenings in Denmark (see previous post) would not be complete without Christmas, the nation’s most celebrated holiday. Although climate change might alter the possibility of a white Christmas, Danish traditions are here to stay!
This holiday is big in Denmark, and even the Danish word for Christmas, Jul, means “feast,” and modern traditions have origins in old Nordic culture. Good eats abound during the season, beginning on Christmas Eve. While we often eat a Christmas ham in the United States, the traditional meat in Denmark on this night is goose. After dinner, a popular dessert is rice pudding. Hidden in the dish lies one whole almond, and the person who finds it wins a prize! On Christmas morning, Danes eat more sweet fare such as puddings, pies, or a traditional Danish treat called Æbleskiver.
Families and friends aren’t the only ones who enjoy the Christmas treats: Danish folklore tells of Nisse, an elf who loves playing tricks on unsuspecting people. Rather than milk and cookies for Santa it is tradition to leave out a bowl of–you guessed it–rice pudding for Nisse on Christmas Eve to remain in his good graces and ward off any pranks.
Recipes for Danish Rice pudding, Æbleskiver, and other delicious holiday treats are coming soon, so check out the blog in the coming days!
Do you have a special holiday tradition in your home? Share them with us!