Danish Canadian Holidays and Celebrations

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Below is a list of important Danish holidays - many of them observed by Danish Canadians:

New Years Day (January 1)
Food - Open faced sandwiches, beer, schnapps

Old Custom - Write the number of the New Year on the home's front door precisely at the stroke of midnight. Stand up on a chair and hop down, signifies hopping into the New Year. Have a coin in your hand when  skåling in the New Year so you won't be without money; practice this until the first new moon in the New Year.

Holy Three Kings Evening (January 5)
Old Custom - Single girls may see the man they will marry in their dreams.

Holy Three Kings Day (January 6)
Old Custom - Celebrating the Three Wise Men- This day signifies the end of Christmas. Poor folk, in groups of threes, sang carols for coins.

Hertug Knuds Day (January 7)
Hertug Knud carried Christmas out. On this day the people return to normal routines after the holidays. Knud Lavard was murdered in Haraldsted forest on this day in 1131.

Presentation of Our Lord Day (February 2)
Food - Pancakes with beer, snaps and coffee.

Fastelavn (Spring Solstice)
Food - Buns baked with white flour.
Custom - This custom may date back over a thousand years (Odin & Thor)- {40 days before Easter- the evening before the beginning of fasting}.  Danish children went door to door, dressed similar to Canadian Halloween. At a costume ball they beat a cat out of a barrel, which then ran from the village, taking all things evil with it. Children rousted parents out of bed in the morning using a decorated willow switch.

National Day (April 16)
The present reigning Monarch's birthday.

St. Hans Fest (June 21)
Food - Roast pork, beer, snaps.
Custom - Midsummer feast held on the longest day of the year. Dates back to Odin and Thor. Meant as a way of keeping evil spirits away. An effigy of a witch is burnt which signifies all evil disappearing into the sky as the smoke and witch's ashes float away.

Mikkelsday (Harvest Festival) (September 29)
Food - Roast pork, beer, snaps.
Custom - Big parties in barns decorated with moss and corn sheaves. Many guests singing and dancing into the morning hours.

All Saints Day (November 3)
Graves are made ready for winter.

Mortens Evening (November 17)
Food - Roast goose stuffed with raisins, prunes, apples, pears, etc.
Custom - Danish Morten (315 to 397) did not want to be Bishop so hid among the geese but they gave him away so he declared that slaughtering day for geese will be on Mortens Day Evening.

New Years Eve (December 31)
Food - Codfish. 



Museum Hours: Open May 8th until September 7th. Thursday through Monday: 10:00am - 5:30pm. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Year round on Fridays: 10.00 - 4.00 pm

How To Get Here: Take Hwy 54 West of Innisfail, AB - Turn South (left) on Range Road 31 in Spruce View - Straight through the 4 way stop in Dickson, AB. 0.8km south on the right.

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