6:38pm Friday 30th November 2012
Although the weather has been dimming many people’s spirit over the past few days, this was not the case for the people who attended the Danish Christmas fair in London. The fair is run every 24th and 25th of November at the Maresfield Gardens in Hampstad. The fair brings together most of the Danish community in London for 2 days of the year to celebrate Christmas in the traditional Danish way.
I was fortunate enough to attend this year and I treasured every minute of it. As I myself am Danish, I got the chance to relive some of the amazing Danish Christmas culture and was also able to purchase some of my all time favorite foods there. The market itself was filled to the brim with all sorts of Danish food. You could buy almost everything you needed there! Anything from cakes or beer or sweets, you could be sure it was there.
Foods were not the only items for sale. You could also purchase a vast array of decorations and nick-knacks. I found that every time I worked into a new room, my eyes would be blinded by the shimmering reflections of the decorations and the vast sea of colours from all the Christmas goodies just waiting to be bought. With so much to choose from, my eyes could not help but ponder through what there was on offer. Christmas calendars with elves in red hats printed on them, beautiful decorations, toys, candle holders for your tree and much more, all dressed in patriotic red and white. With all this on offer, there is something for everybody.
You also have the chance to live some of the Danish traditions to their full extent in the café downstairs where hot food and drinks are served. I can still remember the utter delight of having the taste of aebleskiven (a type of pancake ball dipped in powdered sugar and jam) role across the pallet of my tongue.
Jette Jakobsen (a member of the public attending to fair) had this to say: “For me, the fair is the beginning of the build up to Christmas. I get this warm feeling inside by the decorations and the aromatic smells of the food…. I feel really Danish and a connection to my roots. Ever since I was a child, Christmas has always meant a lot to me and the Danish way of celebrating Christmas. It is also good because I can take my children, so they can also experience what I feel. To me, it’s more that a Christmas market. To me, it’s about sharing the Danish love of Christmas.”
Hannah Callaghan, aged 13 had this to say: “I thought it was really good! It made me feel more Danish and being there reminds me of Denmark with all the food. Going to this fair really puts me in the Christmas mood and I feel I can’t start Christmas without coming!”
The Danish word “hygge”, directly translated means cozy and this is one of the most important aspects of the Danish culture but is really highlighted during the Christmas period. The Danish Christmas fair delivers this sense of “hygge” to all its visitors very successfully and will do for many years to come and I would recommend it anyone and everyone!
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