Greetings to all club members from the Danish Club Board of Directors!
We hope that your Christmas came “early, stayed late” and left behind the gifts of peace, love, joy and good health! For those of you who attended our Christmas dinner, Christ- mas did come a little early! Our December 17th event was very well attended with 98 guests sitting down to enjoy the food prepared by Annemari, her husband Jan, her sister, Ingelise and the helpers who made red cabbage, frikedeller, roast pork and rice allemande.
Because of the worry about covid and the respiratory virus that was circulating it was a concern that, like the wonderful Men’s Dinner held in October, our numbers would be small. Thankfully there was a great interest and we had many new faces in attendance. All who attended had a great time and many won great door prizes (yes, Karen, the pig you won was a cute foot stool which was one of several items donated generously by Anders Jorgensen of Scandesign)!
Getting over our three year hiatus from club events has been both exciting and sometimes tiring (we are now 3 years older!). We are planning a few events for 2023 (see listed below) and hope that you will continue to not only attend but will con- sider helping out…..the old saying that “many hands makes light work” is true! Our Annual General Meeting is coming up in April, maybe you will consider running for an executive position or possibly a position as a Member at Large. We look forward to seeing you there and at various other events this year.
Wishing you all a Happy & Healthy 2023,
Hans and the Board of Directors
What's New at the Danish Social Club
In Denmark, there is a tradition called Fastelavn. Fastelavn is celebrated seven weeks before Easter Day. Therefore, Fastelavn this year fell on Sunday February 23. But what is Fastelavn?
Fastelavn is a carnival of sort, where kids dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. It is celebrated in daycare institutions, schools etc. While Fastelavn is mostly for children, as few adults dress up, you can experience that the students at the university also will celebrate Fastelavn by having Fastelavn Parties.
Some say that Fastelavn is the Danish equivalent of Halloween, but while there are similarities, like kids dressing up in costumes, there are also many differences between the Danish Fastelavn and Halloween.
Fastelavn is an old tradition and has deep cultural roots. It is based on the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating the days before Lent. At Fastelavn, kids “knock the cat out of the barrel” with a bat. Or in Danish, “Slå katten af tønden”. In the old times, a black cat was literally put in a barrel as a symbol of evil and beaten to death. This was done to ward off evil.
Nowadays, however, the barrel is filled with candy. When the kids knock the barrel, they compete to become “Cat Queen” and “Cat King”. “Cat Queen” is the one who knocks the bottom off the barrel so that the candy comes flushing out, while the person who becomes “Cat King” is the one who knocks the last remaining board off the barrel.
Another tradition related to Fastelavn is eating Fastelavnsboller. These are sweet buns that are typically filled with cream or jam. You can buy them almost everywhere in bakeries and grocery stores as Føtex.
If you have children, be aware if the child’s school or day-care institution celebrates fastelavn, so that you can dress up your child. You can make your child’s costume yourself or buy one in a toy store, as these usuallly have a vide sortiment of costumes.
If you are interested in learning more about Fastelavn, its origin and its traditions, you can read more here.
Many thanks go out this year to Jens Lorentzen for a spectacular Barrel beautifully printed with cats, well put together and created a bit of extra help from the bigger boys and girls. It was filled with a delicious candy donation from Bent and Shirley Andersen. The traditional Fastelavn Ris produced by the talented hands of Birgit, Karen and Jette. A potpourri of Chefs, Annemari, Gloria, and Ernst provided a fabulous feast of Chili and the hot dogs were carefully cooked by Chef Finn.
Royals Hockey Night
The club had 30 plus members attend a Victoria Royals hockey game on Friday February 21 where we raised the Danish flag Dannebrog (thanks to Ben and Shirley Andersen for arranging.) Before the game we met with Phillip Schultz, the captain who hails from Denmark. He scored a goal for us. The next day Phillip’s parents, his sister and brother and his girlfriend attended our Fastelavn event.