Fastelavn is a traditional Danish carnival for kids that takes place before lent each year. In a typical year, NWDA hosts in-person celebrations for Fastelavn in Portland and Seattle. The events are popular among families in the Pacific Northwest.

Families love participating in this traditional day to experience the fun and games. Crafts, a costume parade, and songs are all part of the festivities. A lucky Cat Queen or Cat King breaks a barrel piñata filled with candy and a stuffed animal cat. As old Danish tradition has it, beating the cat out of the barrel chases the winter away.

Fastelavn in 2021:

Fastelavn this year is on Sunday, February 14th, 2021. We are unable to gather in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year a virtual kit will be available for a stay-at-home Fastelavn for your household. Chase the winter away the Danish way! Follow the guidelines in the kit to:

-Make ‘fastelavnsris’ and other Danish crafts
-Sing songs
-Make fastelavnsboller (festive sweet rolls)
-And dress up in costume at home too, if you have one!

For a pdf version you can print at home, send an e-mail to

Sign up for the e-bulletin to receive updates on Fastelavn 2022! Become a member of NWDA to support NWDA activities like Fastelavn.

Send us photos of your at-home Fastelavn!
E-mail all photos to