In Denmark it is a very common tradition to hold Christmas Dinners in preparation for Christmas day! The main happenings at events such as these involve friends, exchanging gifts, and lots of food. But wait. I think I’m missing something. Oh yes drinking. Danish people LOVE their drinking. This is no exaggeration either. Their beloved schnapps is the “highlight” of the night (highlight in air quotes because I am not a fan. Not really sure if anyone is). But overall, this event makes for an amazing night full of camaraderie, fun, and lively entertainment!
The evening starts off pretty casually, as most wild nights do. Cocktail hour before the event, sipping on glasses of wine, talking about any and everything.
But then you notice a shift. People start ordering cocktails, it gets a little bit louder, music starts playing that isn’t that nice background jazz but more of that pulse-pounding club music and top 40.
Then it begins to become ratchet (do the kids still use that word? Trends here are very different than in the US). People have reached that point in the night where things get crazy due to some alcohol induced actions. For example, the reindeer ears come out and people begin playing some “Danish games” which I still honestly don’t know the rules to.
But a unique part of this Christmas Dinner is that each school from the GLOBE program (explained often in earlier blog posts) had to do a performance of sorts for everyone’s entertainment. UNC planned out a dance number using a mash up of songs that included the following: Singin’ in the Rain, Make it Rain, and Rain is a Good Thing (Luke Bryan). There was a common theme in our performance (rain) because it literally always rains in Denmark and the weather during the winter months is not the best. So we thought it’d be fun to poke at our dislike of this aspect of Denmark!
A more common tradition however is the gift exchange! Everyone brings a gift and you’re split into groups and you go about exchanging gifts, much like American Secret Santa. Of course, they have some random Danish name for it but it is essentially the same thing.
Everyone had a wonderful night and lots of fun! And this was all before the food was even served! Besides alcohol, food is the next main focus of the dinner and there are always numerous courses served, naturally all Danish food.
Words not necessary.
One other classic part is the lighting of sparklers during the gift exchange! Always a nice addition to any party.
And that was a nice little summary of my very first Danish Christmas Dinner! And even though it was hosted in November it very much got me into the Christmas spirit, which I was glad for because Christmas is such a big deal to me back home!