5 Traditional Games Played in Denmark

Traditional Games Played in Denmark
5/5 - (6 votes)

Denmark is known for their scrumptious pastries, high-quality design, and architecture, and for giving us the high-end electronics brand, Bang & Olufsen. They are also known for giving the world Lego. All amazing feats, but this beautiful Scandinavian country with its rich culture and heritage, also has a knack for games and encourages family time where games are involved. 

Now we are not only talking about activities such as dice games, but rather their more traditional pastimes enjoyed throughout the nation. Let’s have a look at some of Denmark’s more traditional games and how they are played. While these games might have been played a certain way, it is important to note that you might also have your version.  

Capturing Chains also locally known as Laenkfange

I know you’ve heard of the game tag; you are it, now this is a play on that game. This variation of the tag will see one person as “it” who then challenges the others who are playing the game. When “it” touches someone, they are then linked to “it” and must hold hands. The rest of the time the two will need to tag and collect others until the game is complete. The last person to be tagged is crowned the winner. Pretty simple but loads of fun

Kick the tin also locally known as Spark til Daasen

Another variation of a top-rated game, hide and seek – all over the world, most nations have their version of the game. In this version, someone is nominated as “it”. “It” then needs to find the others who are hiding. To gather all the hidden individuals, “it” must kick a can and call out the name of each person found. It does go a bit further though. So “it” needs to kick the can to claim another person, however, if “it” does not kick the can, the person can get away. All individuals who are found are placed in one area, and they can be released depending on where they are in the game.  

Hide the Thimble, also known as Gemme Fingerbøl

The Danish are quite creative and come up with their variations of games that prove to be quite popular, and hide the thimble is no different. How it works in Denmark is that it is played indoors. One person is tasked with hiding the thimble while all the other players make sure not to be close by or even in the same space.

Now, before the game can begin, the group must decide if the thimble is going to be hidden fully or partially. While this game can be challenging, the player who hides the thimble is allowed to give the other players clues on where the thimble might be. Once the thimble is discovered, the game then restarts with someone new hiding it.  

Mouse, also known as Mus

Played with a minimum of three people, it must involve eating peppernuts or as the Danish call it, pebernødder. So, what is pebernødder? And how does Mus work? Firstly, pebernødder is a cookie that is made from cookie dough, cinnamon, cardamom, and pepper – there are many recipes found online for this, check them out and find one to make for your family. This cookie contains no actual nuts. However, the cookies are rounder and are sometimes molded to look like nuts. Secondly, pebernødder is the actual mouse in the game.

So how is it played? Players line up 10 pebernødder on a platform like a table, a counter, or even the floor, and pick one as the mouse. Here, one player is picked as the “it” and cannot see which pebernødder was picked as the mouse. One by one the “it” eats the pebernødder until they get to the mouse and the other players yell MOUSE, which then concludes the game. The game restarts in the same format until all the cookies have been eaten.  

Mitt Rowdy

I bet you are thinking, “what is this game?”. Well, we were as bewildered as you, but here goes. If you are looking for all-out fun, then Mitt Rowdy is where it is at. Two opponents square off in a game of coin toss. How it works is that both players must each wear an oven mitt on one hand, while always holding the other hand at the back of their backs.

Next, another person needs to toss a coin in the air. Now the aim is simple, both players need to try and get the coin for themselves before the other person does, and the kicker, they can only use their hand with the oven mitt! The first person to pick up the coin wins!

1 Comment

  1. Very interesting and it’s nice to know some games seem to be universal around the world. I am interested in tracking down a Danish game we played in the US (grandparents (all 4) were born in DK). It was very much like bingo but with pictures of items (i.e. a school or military cap) and was called Lottery (in Danish). I can’t find a reference to it and can’t find it still being sold. Any help or pointers in my research would be appreciated. Thanks.

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