Påske is Easter in Danish. And traditions for Easter in Denmark, are less defined than other holidays like Christmas. Don’t mess with Christmas. In December, there are a specific set of rituals, recipes and rules to follow. But less so for Easter.
Easter in Denmark is more about the season than the reason. Danes are more traditional than traditionally religious. Easter and spring bring a celebration of flowers and longer days. Everywhere you can buy påskeliljer. Daffodils to brighten up your home. And while some may celebrate with outings to church, many take advantage of the first set of state-sanctioned holidays and get out of town. Almost all businesses are closed from Thursday through Easter Monday, giving people five days to travel.
We learned this the hard way our first Easter in Copenhagen. Hello? Hello? Is anybody around? Streets empty. Shops shutter. Plenty of parking available. That is, if you have a car. So what to do if you do find yourself in town for Påske? You may have to get a little creative.
Enter Creative Space Copenhagen. With two shops, one in Frederiksberg and one in the Østerbro neighborhood, there is plenty of space and a bevy of pieces to paint. For the past two years, we have made it our Easter tradition to paint ceramic eggs. All of us. Even the teens. They may groan, but they go. And they paint. We all do. It has become our Danish Easter ritual.
In town this Easter? Create something fun, with your family or a friend. Check out Creative Space CPH.
Gammel Kongevej 154 | 1850 Frederiksberg C
TLF: 3379 0072
11:00 — 19:00 Saturday, Sunday and holidays
10:00 — 18:00 First Thursday of the Month (only Frederiksberg)
11:00 — 22:00
With more than 180 pieces to choose from, there is something for everyone to paint. Prices start at 150 DKK and go up from there depending on the size of your piece. 2018 price for our eggs was 159 DKK. Price includes table space, use of all paints and tools.
Offers coffee, espresso, juices, water, wine and beer for purchase.
Creative Space recommends planning on two hours to pick your piece, find inspiration, pull your colors (all provided), and paint!
When you are finished, you will pass over your piece. Creative Space will put a finishing glaze on it and fire for you. It should be ready in a week to pick up and enjoy.
Go’Påske to you and yours! Happy Easter from Copenhagen! – Erin
It’s Fredag! That’s Friday in Danish if you didn’t know. And the sun is shining here in Copenhagen. Double bonus. Today deserves a toast. Don’t you think? In Danish, you say “Skål!” Cheers. Raise your glass. Oh – what’s that? You don’t have anything to toast with do you? Let me introduce you to some locals who can help rectify your precarious situation. Here in Copenhagen, you should definitely get to know them. Don’t live here? No problem, they’ll be ready and waiting for you when you come to Copenhagen. This shop is destination worthy.
Let me introduce you to best little wine shop in Copenhagen. This third installment of my Meet the Locals series brings us to Nordre Frihavnsgade, the main shopping street in the easterly Copenhagen neighborhood of Østerbro. It happens to be my neighborhood. How convenient! Here you will find a most unique and charming purveyor of wine and other spirits. This is Trøffelsvin. Say hej! Come inside. Take a look around. It’s cute in here. You’ll see. This is no average Danish wine shop. I think it the best little wine shop in Copenhagen.
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.
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.
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.
Apparently hers was the one Juletræer without exception
Dansk Juletræer – Rosendal 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.
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.”
Rosendal Julemarked – Ålsgårde, Denmark
Rosendal Julemarked – Ålsgårde, Denmark
Pheasants for sale
Julemarked is Danish for Christmas market and Rosendal’s is super hyggeligt
Glædelig Jul from Rosendal Julemarked
Julegaver and Christmas decorations at Rosendal Julemarked
Julegaver and Christmas decorations at Rosendal Julemarked
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!
Æbleskivers and Gløgg or Varme Kakao
Delicious Æbleskivers and Gløgg or Varme Kakao
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
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.)
Half a year. Expatriates for half a year. It has been six months since we stepped away from my mom’s driveway, kissing our family and dog goodbye. Handed over the keys of our home to renters the day before, after countless days culling and packing and separating and storing all our earthly belongings. Much of sold in an epic yard sale. Much of it in my mother’s attic. Some more of it cordoned off in our own garage. Boats sold, cars sold or given away or stored. Goodbye parties with friends for both the littles and the adults. All behind us. Getting on that plane, there was a collective familial exhale. The months and months of preparing, planning and processing before that moment now complete. Yes, it was bittersweet. Tears were shed. Hugs held longer than normal. But the anticipation and excitement and sheer utter exhaustion took over and flying around the world became surreal. Not on vacation. But flying 30 hours around the world to our new home. To Denmark.