It has been a really long time since we last met. That last occassion was Fastelavn in February of 2020. It was shortly after this that Covid and the related restrictions hit hard and we have been unable to get together since.
April 8th all Covid mandates are scheduled to be dropped. Trusting that there will be no changes to this, the executive is looking to organize an Annual General meeting for the 28th of April at 3:30 pm at Norway Hall. The main purpose of this is to plan how to restart the club.
While we have been unable to meet, the Norwegians have been busy making some improvements to their hall. These improvements come along with some changes to rental practices. For example, rental costs have been increased considerably and the dates that clubs such as ours can meet have been restricted. The only dates that we have been able to get are the following: Thursday, November 17 (Men’s Dinner) and Saturday, December 17 (Christmas Dinner).
The agenda for this meeting will cover these restrictions and the dates the executive is proposing for some upcoming events. It is hoped that members will contribute their thoughts and ideas to help us restart club activities.
The executive wants all members in good standing for 2020 to know that they will also be in good standing for 2022. Please plan to attend and reconnect with members you haven’t seen in a long time. It will be a time of sharing ideas and having tea/coffee and aebelskiver.
Looking forward to seeing you all….
Hans Frederiksen, President
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.