Fastelavn is an event that generally takes place in February. Many adults and children attend this event in Portland or Seattle. The Fastelavn tradition is an old custom related to the church year involving festivities held before the Lent season. The Danes dress up and celebrate with hilarities, food, and goodies. Children make whips of birch branches, and they wear costumes and play games. Finally the fun culminates with knocking the cat out of a barrel hung from the ceiling. Children take turns to hit the barrel with a bat. This continues until the barrel breaks and the candy and toy cat come falling out. The child who made the final hit to break the barrel is crowned Cat King or Cat Queen and is awarded the toy cat. After the King or Queen is paraded around in a ‘golden chair” the fun ends with hot chocolate and Fastelavns buns for all. You won’t want to miss the fun. Watch for announcements about this event on our Facebook page or on our e-bulletin.
Sankt Hans Bonfire
Danish Holiday Bazaar
The various Danish groups put together a Danish Holiday Bazaar each year at the Northwest Danish Association. Danish Christmas items are sold. Authentic Danish Smørrebrød is served as well as other Danish treats. The event is always open to the public.
Julestue is a Christmas tradition in Seattle (our version of this event in Portland is called Julefest). Everyone is welcome to attend our Christmas events in Seattle and Portland. They are held in early December. At these events people attending make the popular Christmas oranges with cloves, the typical Danish woven paper hearts for treats to hang on the Christmas tree, and other traditional Danish decorations.
Adults and children alike enjoy making various paper cutting activities. Children have a play or story and learn about the nisser and sing and dance around the Christmas tree. Typical Danish refreshments are enjoyed and Santa delights the children with his appearance.
On December 23rd, Lillejuleaften (“Little Christmas Eve”), there is a service at St. John United Lutheran Church (5501 Phinney Ave N, Seattle). The event includes a service, food, and Danish Julehygge (Danish Christmas social celebrations). Contact the Northwest Danish Association for more information or sign up for the weekly e-bulletin for the latest updates on this event.