Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Catty Carnival in Copenhagen (Fastelavn)

Carnival in Copenhagen. Okay, so we're not talking Carnival like the one in Rio. Honestly, would you want to dance around half-naked, peely-wally white, in zero temperatures? I think not. If you want the whole historical background of the Danish festival, I suggest you go google ;) Here's what I think you need to know:
  • it's celebrated seven weeks before Easter Sunday (this year, Sunday 14 February)
  • highlight of the kids' year (aside from Christmas), the Danish equivalent of Halloween
  • kids wear fancy dress
  • the kids make (or buy or receive) a fastelavnsris [see yesterday's post for instructions]
  • you eat special sticky buns [recipe coming on Saturday!]
There are tons of parties where the kids get a chance to slå katten af tønden (literally 'hit the cat out of the barrel'). Schools and kindergartens devote a whole day to the celebrations. And if your child goes to scouts or football practice, there will also be a party organised there. Not to mention events organised by public libraries, museums, local businesses and supermarkets... A tønde (large barrel, similar to a piñata) is filled with sweets and fruit. Much more politically correct than filling it with live cats, as they used to do up until the early 1800s... ;) The barrel is then strung up and the kids take it in turns to whack it with a bat.

The first person to break off a piece of the barrel is crowned as Kattedronningen (the Queen of the Cats). The person who smashes the whole barrel down is crowned Kattekongen (the King of the Cats). A. Big. Honour. So cross your fingers and hope that - this year - the force will be with us! ;)


Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

4 comments:

C-Joy said...

Sounds like so much fun! Certainly better than a soppy Valentine's Day -Enjoy :D

DianeDenmark said...

Valentine's Day (like Halloween) hasn't QUITE caught on in Denmark yet. But that doesn't mean I'm letting DH *completely* off the hook, tee hee!

schjerning said...

What a wonderful explanation and great costumes :-)

DianeDenmark said...

Hi S! Will you be knitting a costume for your child next year? :)