Where to Find Christmas in Denmark | Try a tree farm and julemarked via Oregon Girl Around the World

Finding Christmas in Denmark

When moving abroad – honoring your own family holiday traditions while sampling those of your new home can feel like a balancing act. Especially, in a country like Denmark. Small and fierce and proud of their heritage and customs – Jul is a set tradition that you don’t mess around with. Just ask any Dane you know – where Julemanden (Santa) is “from” and what he eats on Christmas Eve when leaving presents for your kids. Hint: it’s NOT the North Pole and there is nary a cookie. And the specific ritual and menu for the Julefrokost or Christmas dinner is not to be adapted, tweaked or innovated neither. No modern new Nordic cuisine here, this is tradition. Who would dare suggest wood ants on moss during Jul. And when do you celebrate Christmas in Denmark? December 24th of course.

Danes take their Christmas customs very seriously. And Christmas is somewhat of an obsession here – celebrated through the entire advent season. It makes sense as the days get shorter and shorter and darker and darker. We all need reasons to light candles and bake cookies and hang wreaths. I personally love the Dansk passion for tradition and family and community and when you are allowed in to share theirs, it is lovely. Sometimes intimate, sometimes raucous but always interesting. One Danish tradition I can completely get behind is the annual trip to cut the juletræ – your Christmas tree.

Rosendal Julemarked, Ålsgårde Denmark | Where to Find Christmas in Denmark via Oregon Girl Around the World
Rosendal Julemarked – Juletræer in Ålsgårde, Denmark

 

Rosendal Julemarked, Ålsgårde Denmark | Where to Find Christmas in Denmark via Oregon Girl Around the World
Our own Julemanden at Rosendal’s Julemarked

This is something that feels very familiar as we have always done this every year no matter where we have lived. From Michigan to Ohio to Pennsylvania to Texas to Oregon and now here in Denmark. And while we may be a little earlier than the average Scandi with our tree procurement and installation, I can highly recommend the experience. This was our second annual outing to one of the seriously most hyggeligt Christmas markets and tree farms in Nordsjælland – Rosendal Julemarked. You can take a historic train ride from Hellerup Station or Hillerød Station to reach Rosendal Farm in little Ålsgårde near Helsingnør. From the train depot, it is a short walk to the farm where you follow the tree-lined path down to the barn where all the Jule activity is happening.

There are chickens and roosters roaming around the pre-cut trees. Warm your hands on the open burners before grabbing a saw and heading out to the field if you want to pick your own. Wear boots as it can be very muddy.

Rosendal Julemarked, Ålsgårde Denmark | Where to Find Christmas in Denmark via Oregon Girl Around the World
Nordmann Fir Juletrær at Rosendal Julemarked

There are only two kinds of trees available here – Nordmann Firs and Rødgrans (a traditional Spruce tree.) Being an Oregon girl from the land of towering Douglas fir trees – I always go for a fir. Scurry on out to the field and take a look. Just don’t let your wee lass get too fixated on any specific one only to be drawn to tears when that wasn’t the family’s selection (second year in a row). I do not negotiate with terrorists, but I am somewhat remiss to admit – I buckled and we took hers. Red-faced and muddy – with our heavy, green, fragrant fir in tow, we head back to the Julemarked.

While Far (Dad) has them tie up the tree, we are welcome to explore the barn – there are bunnies to cuddle and round pink little piggies to pet. Small children might want to ride a pony or be pulled in a cart.

Rosendal Julemarked, Ålsgårde Denmark | Where to Find Christmas in Denmark via Oregon Girl Around the World
Pony cart rides at Rosendal Julemarked

Walk in past the caught pheasants and deer for your dinner and be instantly charmed. Little white lights twinkle through the hay-lined market. Tucked in amidst baubles and trinkets and décor for your tree – small Julegaver (gifts) are sold – and everywhere wishes of “Glædelig Jul.”

But more than the tree drama and fluffy lop bunnies, my favorite part of the Rosendal experience is the warm Gløgg* or Cocoa and fresh æbleskivers with jam and powdered sugar. You order per person, with three to an order, but they are so fluffy and yummy that you might need a second round. I’m not saying that we did. But YOU might. Cozy and candle lit, with a live roaring fire – the back hall of the market is a perfect respite. Our first year here our visit was timed closer to Christmas and the tables were packed. But this year, we had no trouble finding the perfect spot to enjoy this first Sunday of the advent season!

A quintessential Danish Jul experience. And while I can probably not pronounce Glædelig correctly – I can still wish you one. Glædelig Jul! Cheers from Copenhagen! – Erin

GOOD TO KNOW:

Rosendal-Gaard
Rosendalsvej 5
3140 Ålsgårde

CHRISTMAS MARKET | JULEMARKED OPENING HOURS:

19 November to 23 December 2016
Wednesday – Sunday from 10-17

Entrance is free, but they only take cash, Dankort or mobilepay for your christmas goodies. Enjoy!

+45 20 82 19 77
info@rosendal-gaard.dk

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*Gløgg is a Danish Christmas drink made of warm mulled wine with spices, raisins and sliced almonds.

Sharing this little Danish Christmas sip with Faraway Files Travel Blog Community. Skål! Cheers!

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Untold Morsels<

Bellevue Beach | A Beautiful Day Out North of Copenhagen

You can’t beat the brilliant blue Baltic Sea here at Bellevue Beach
Soak in the scene on this swath of sand in Klampenborg

Today I took the long way round after dropping my youngest at school, the older two having already made it on their own for their early starts. Not having finished my morning coffee when the wee lass wanted off to catch her friends before the bell rung, I put it in a flask to take along. (No, not an alcoholic flask. Flask = thermos; my UK friends might be rubbing off, can you tell?) Repositing the lass with friends at school, I kiss goodbye and head off on my bike. I make my way via the neighborhoods that skirt Copenhagen’s northeastern suburbia to my destination – Bellevue Beach on the water in Klampenborg. You can also get here easily by train, but it is unbelievably beautiful weather this week and it feels good to be out of the rain. (Forgive me – my son is learning how to play America on his guitar and it just seeps in.)

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Oregon Ballet around the world

“What drew me to dance specifically is the [ability] to tell a story without the limitation of words.” – Jason Karman, independent filmmaker of Muse.

Having spent my youth from age three to nearly nineteen in a ballet studio or on a stage, dance for me can be a powerful portrayal of personal expression within a given framework. It requires no words, but uses the body as instrument. It is the means to communicate story, emotion, pattern and art. The body is the medium AND the message. But do we communicate through dance differently? Does where you are “from” impact your means of expression?

As an American currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark with my family from Portland, Oregon – the question of where you are from has been an intimately intriguing one as we grow our lives here abroad. When I learned that the Oregon Ballet Theatre was sending six of their company dancers here to Copenhagen for a week’s immersion into the famous Bournonville Method – a most Danish ballet tradition that has been practiced by the Royal Ballet here continuously since the 19th century – I was immediately curious how their “from” would color this experience. As a former season ticket holder the past six seasons in Portland, I was extremely excited to know Oregon Ballet around the world.

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On the Surface

On the surface, life is normal here. We are still our same American family of five. Here in this different place. Here in Denmark. On the surface, it looks nice. It seems that we can see things and do things that we haven’t seen or done before and share them here with you. On the surface, it looks like sunshine and roses. Sometimes it is. Sometimes below the surface, we’re just sleepwalking. Moving through the motions of a day from sun up to sun down whilst the world works and does and becomes. Sometimes I feel like I have to scratch off the surface to reveal the winning code, the lottery winner. Maybe we didn’t buy the ticket today though. What did we do? I sometimes wonder at the end of the day. But you can’t win if you don’t buy the ticket.

Yesterday – I bought the ticket. And I definitely won. My personal lottery that is. Those who know me know that art, especially public art, is something very important to me. Public art in the form of outdoor sculpture galleries, murals, architecture, street art and even well executed colorful graffiti. The earth without ART is just… eh. Yesterday, I attended the closing afternoon of Danish photographer Søren Solkær‘s excellent exhibition SurfaceAn enormous, in scale and presentation, portrait series pointed at street artists all over the world and in every iteration – from street “taggers” to muralists to installation artists to graffiti kings. Yesterday Søren himself led a public tour through the Oksnehallen culture center‘s display of his works. Hearing how and where and why and who from the artist himself made the images come to life and engendered a respect for the work required to undertake such a project.

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By Bus to Bergen – Onsdag Wanderlust – Volume V

It’s Wednesday peeps. That’s Onsdag in Danish. And while my morning excursion to join the morgen sing along with the Copenhagen Opera Festival potentially exposed my gross lack of appropriate Danish pronunciation – and may have quickly led to lip synching – I do know what Onsdag means. It means – it’s the middle of the week. And this week in Copenhagen – the weather is abysmal. Seriously. Rain. Not rain. RAIN. More Rain. Oh – blue skies! Let’s do something! RAIN. I need an escape. How about you? Travel with me, virtually. Here and now.

Today I will take you on the last leg of our recent Norway in a Nutshell tour at the end of June. My story began back in Oslo and wound us through Norway by track and through fjord. (Missed those posts? Check them here and here.) Continuing on this Wednesday, let’s leave the gorgeous Nærøyfjord as we disembark our vessel at tiny Gudvangen. Shrouded in rain, (oh you thought I was going to take you somewhere sunny? Just wait…the weather does turn) we hurriedly make our way past the gift shop full of trolls and viking horned caps and Norsk flags and fur trimmed hats and expensive, if charming, Dale of Norway sweaters. Let the other tourists nab their souvenirs – we’ve got a bus to catch. There is no one ushering us along either. No. You have to locate that ride yourself. Ensure with the driver that you are in fact on the correct bus that will carry you on to Voss. Ja takk, in fact we are. Continue reading “By Bus to Bergen – Onsdag Wanderlust – Volume V”