Christmas Day

Christmas Day Quick Facts - DK

AKA NameJuledag
HashtagsCompiled on#Christmas
Related Hashtags#MerryChristmas
2023 Date25 December 2023
2024 Date25 December 2024


The observance of Christmas, or 'Jul' as it is termed in Danish, is one of Denmark's most revered traditions. Signifying a season of joy, goodwill, and unity, this annual celebration brings together communities in merriment and brotherhood. Central aspects include the decoration of homes and public spaces, gift-giving, sharing meals, and participating in religious customs and services. Special emphasis is placed on togetherness, reinforcing familial bonds, and expressing gratitude for the blessings of the year gone by.

The tradition of celebrating Christmas in Denmark dates back to the pre-Christian era and was initially associated with the winter solstice. With the spread of Christianity, the festivities came to be celebrated as Jesus Christ's birth. An essential aspect distinctly Danish is the concept of 'Hygge'. Christmas 'Hygge' is about creating a warm and cosy atmosphere, encouraging quality time with family and friends, and indulging in traditional festive activities. Notably, it involves the making and enjoyment of 'Julefrokost' (Christmas lunch) and 'Julebryg' (Christmas beer), singing 'Julesange' (Christmas carols), and exchanging 'Julegaver' (Christmas gifts).

In Denmark, Christmas is typically observed from the start of Advent in late November until around New Year's Day. The 24th of December, Christmas Eve, is the highlight of the season when the 'Julemiddag' or Christmas dinner takes place, traditionally including dishes like 'flæskesteg' (roast pork) and 'risalamande' (rice dessert). Also notable is the Danish 'Julefrokost', a traditional Christmas luncheon held on various days during December. Families may also partake in attending church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The spirit of 'Hygge', solidarity, and happiness imbibed during the Christmas season continues well into January, making Danish Christmas an extended and deeply cherished cultural experience.

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Christmas Day facts

  • During the 4th Century A.D., Bishop Nicolas of Smyrna was known to be very generous to the poor, especially to children. He was later given the title of Saint Nicholas and is patron saint of children.
  • Constantine the Great named the holiday and set the date for Jesus' birth as being December 25th. This happened in 325 A.D.
  • The Christmas tree is a custom that is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century. Candles and decorations that are lit represented the light of Christ in the world.
  • Danes have a unique decoration called the "julehjerte" (Christmas heart), made by weaving strips of colored paper or ribbon into a heart shape. These woven hearts are often used to adorn Christmas trees or act as small baskets for candies.
  • "Nisse" or "Nisser" are small, mythological creatures akin to elves or gnomes, closely associated with Danish Christmas tales and traditions. They are believed to bring good luck and are often depicted wearing red hats, white shirts, and clog shoes.

Top things to do in Denmark for Christmas Day

  • Attend a Christmas Eve service at a local church. Many churches offer midnight mass. Alternately, watch the Pope's annual Christmas eve service broadcast live from the Vatican.
  • Many churches hold pageants for children that involve playing the parts of the nativity scene. Go to one of these events or put up a nativity scene in your home.
  • Try traditional Danish Christmas desserts like Æbleskiver (round pancake puffs), Pebernødder (spiced cookies), and Risalamande (rice pudding with almonds and a cherry sauce).
  • Attending a Christmas church service is a common tradition for Danes. Churches often hold candlelit services with Christmas carols and readings.

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