2010 Danish Holidays – Denmark Celebrations

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Denmark has several public holidays in 2010. Below you will find a list of the various occasions and the date they are held. Most are held in the first part of the year and than there is a long dry spell until November and December.

January 1, 2010 is Nytaarsdag or New Years Day and all business are closed on that day.

February 14, 2010 is Fastelavn or Shrovetide, which is a celebration with children dressing up in costumes and beating up a barrel with a stick. Fastelavn is celebrated on the Sunday before Lent. Businesses do not close on this day.

April 1, 2010 is Aprilsnar or April Fools’ Day and in like so many other countries, this is a day for pulling pranks on your friends and colleagues. Everyone seems to get on the act, even the media and politicians.

Paaske or Easter consists of 4 days and all businesses are closed during this time. Businesses are open on the Saturday between the 4-day holidays.

April 1, 2010 is Skaertorsdag or Maundy Thursday, commemorating the last supper.

April 2, 2010 is Langfredag or Good Friday commemorating the Crucifixion of Christ

April 4, 2010 is Paaskedag or Easter Sunday commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus

April 5, 2010 is 2 Paaskedag or 2nd Easter Day and comes on the Monday following Easter Sunday.

April 30, 2010 is called St. Bededag or Great Prayer Day and is to celebrate the various prayer days and is always on the 4th Friday after Easter. All businesses are closed. It is a tradition to go the local bakery the night before St. Bededag and get “varme hveder” or wheat rolls to eat with melted butter and jam. On April 29th you will find long lines at your bakery getting these treats – join in, because not much else happens on this holiday.

May 13, 2010 is Kristi Himmelfartsdag or Ascension Day is held 40 days after Easter Sunday.

May 23, 2010 is Pinsedag or Whit Sunday, which is held 50 days after Easter and celebrates the birth of the church.

May 24, 2010 is 2nd Pinsedag or Whit Monday and is part of the Whitsun Holiday. Businesses are closed.

June 5, 2010 is Grundlovsdag: or Constitution Day and celebrates the signing of the Danish Constitution in 1849. All businesses are closed.

June 23, 2010 is Sankthansaften or Midsummer Night and is celebrated with bonfires all over Denmark; it is not a public holiday, where businesses close.

November 10, 2010 is Mortens Aften, which is a unique celebration to Denmark. The Danes will eat goose or duck for their evening meal in honor of the legend of Bishop Martin of Tours. The story goes that the missionary hid out in a goose shed to avoid being consecrated as a bishop. But the geese started cackling and gave away his hiding place. So he declared that every November 10, geese should be served as the main meal in order to get back at them for their deception.

December 13, 2010 is Saint Lucia Day and is heralded by parades of girls dressed in white and carrying lit candles. This is based on a Swedish tradition, celebrating the martyr, Sancta Lucia, who distributed food to the beggars before the New Years Fast.

The parade is led by one girl, Lucia Queen, wearing a crown of candles and the girls all singing the Lucia song. It is well worth attending a church service this day to be part of this celebration.

December 24, 2010 is Juleaftensdag of Christmas Eve, the day that most Danes celebrate Christmas. You can find out more about a traditional Danish Christmas below.

December 25, 2010 is Juledag or Christmas Day

December 26, 2010 is 2. Juledag or Boxing Day and stores are not open, except for grocery stores. Most of the stores will open on the 27th and have the Christmas sales than.

December 31, 2010 is Nytaarsaftensdag or New Years Eve. Most businesses close midday – stores are open until 5 or 6PM. A few stay open later.

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