What you need to know about Denmark Carnival

This article treat the things you have to know about the Denmark carnival ! To have fun and enjoy your days in Denmark.

Celebrating Fastelavn in Denmark

There are various celebrations observed by the Danes all throughout the year. One that is particularly associated with the season of Lent is the Fastelavn. Although the people of Denmark now are predominantly Protestant, it is a celebration that originated from Roman Catholic traditions. What used to be a religious event has become an event very similar to the Mardi Gras.

Loosely translated as “fast evening” or “day before lent”, Fastelavn actually occurs seven weeks before Easter Sunday. The event is described like a Nordic Halloween where children dress themselves up in costumes and gather treats. The day is marked by fun and family games.

Many towns in Denmark celebrate Fastelavn with lavish festivities and parades. One very distinct activity during this day is known as “hit the cat out of the barrel”. This would entail filling up a wooden barrel with candy and oranges. The barrel would usually have an image of a black cat on it and people would take turns beating it until the candies and oranges spill out. This is in the belief that this will help drive out evil spirits. Tradition has it that a real black cat is placed inside the barrel.

A popular baked goodie is associated with Fastelavn. This is the fastelavnsbolle or the lenten bun. It consists of a round sweet roll covered with icing and filled with whipped cream. The fastelavnsris is an interesting custom associated with this celebration. This custom allows children to ritually “flog”their parents in obvious reference to the flogging done on Jesus Christ on Good Friday.


Denmark carnival with the Aalborg Carnival

denmark carnival

Everybody loves the thrills and excitement brought about by carnivals.  Aalborg Carnival is the largest carnival in Northern Europe.  There are up to 60,000 carnivalists in the Grand Parade and more than 100,000 spectators mesmerized by the spectrum of colors that they get to watch.  This is indeed a spectacular event that one must watch.

In comparison with other carnivals, Aalborg Carnival allows spectators to join the Grand Parade on May 28th.  They can move through the streets of Aalborg and the parade ends in Kildeparken where the most colorful party of the year takes place.

There is a wide variety of entertainment in Kildeparken.  There is a giant festival area where you can see enthusiastic partygoers all dressed up and hyped as they listen and dance to different genres of music from Rock to the latest disco vibes.

There are also theme bars where you can enjoy a drink or two with fantasy figures like pirates and princesses.  To top it off, just before midnight, there is a fireworks display that symbolizes the end of the Aalborg Carnival.

The Battle of Carnival Bands takes place on May 20th.   Many groups of musicians from international and local groups perform at C.W. Obels Plads and at Gammeltorv.

This is not just an event for adults.  Kids can also join in the Children’s Carnival that takes place on May 21st.  About 5,000 children dress up and march along the parade route to Kildeparken with their parents.  On this day, the park turns into a kingdom for children of all ages.  This event offers the whole family a wonderland full of music, a wide variety of entertainment and activities.

Denmark carnival with the Party Like in Rio At The Copenhagen Carnival

For three days, Copenhagen will be filled with a rainbow of colors. Hundreds of musical bands and thousands of dancers in bright and sexy costumes are expected to go out on the streets and show off their talents at this Copenhagen Carnival.

The yearly carnival held during the Whitsun Holiday is already now on its second decade and each year, hundreds of thousands of people join in the celebration. At the main venue Faelledperaken, parties with loud sounds and lots of dancing are everywhere for three straight days. Four different tents are set up for the music fans – the Sambadrome for the samba shows, the Brazil tent for the Brazil pop and reggae, the Havanna for salsa and the Ballroom featuring showbands for those who wish to enjoy this type of music and dance.

During day time, there are musical performances courtesy of bands and local DJs playing Brazilian, salsa, reggae and blues music. Other groups also stage performances of African dance, capoeira, ballroom and rueda de casino or salsa.

The Carnival usually starts on Friday, May 21st and is highlighted by a parade on a Saturday afternoon in the city center from Stroget up until Oster Alle. It ends at the Sambadrome which is one of the four themed tents put in place exclusively for the celebration. The final day normally on a Sunday takes place with a major nocturnal parade.

Although this Denmark carnival is participated in by mostly adult men and women, there is also a special program meant for children and youngsters. Day care centers also take part in this event. The program for children usually covers workshops, performances and their very own parade on a Friday.

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