It’s been a few weeks since we last “traveled” to a new country, and in true Kind Of Going Places spirit, we started getting stir crazy. With the holiday season upon us, we were inspired to “visit” somewhere cold, snowy, and beautiful. So for us the natural choice, is Denmark! Known for beautiful landscapes, friendly communities, and the birthplace of the hygge life culture, Denmark is full of charm and cozy vibes.
Let’s Hygge It Out
You may (or may not) have come across the Danish term “Hygge” in recent years. Hygge, is a concept that originated in Denmark, and promotes the concept of being happy and taking pleasure with the cozy, soothing things around you. Like warm blankets, hot cocoa, and a cozy fire. Which is not surprising considering the word hygge is pronounced as hoo-guh, which sounds a lot like the word hug.
The concept of the hygge life has become increasingly popular in international culture in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. I can assure you, there’s very few things better than a warm blanket, hot cup of tea, and family and friends around on a freezing frigid New England winter night.
Hygge Life Vibes
Let’s set the scene with some awesome music we found out of Denmark. Throw on this playlist we made for you to enjoy as you plan out and enjoy your Danish themed day:
Sjove Fakta (Fun Facts)
There must be something to the hygge life because Denmark is frequently credited with being the happiest country in the world. It’s also known for having a friendly gentle community, making it a great place to travel. Want to know some more fun facts? Of course you do! And we’ve got you covered:
Denmark Has The Oldest Flag
The Danish flag, known as the “Dannebrog” (Danish cloth), is the oldest, continuously used national flag. It’s design was first introduced in 1625 (and its square shape in 1748).
You Can Swim in Copenhagen’s Harbor
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and the country and city is so clean, that people commonly swim in the Copenhagen Harbour. (They SWIM in the HARBOR. We’re from Boston. I can’t ever imagine anyone wanting to swim in the Boston Harbor.)
The city of Copehagen even went so far as to build harbour baths where people can come and relax on hot summer days.
Again..I repeat, they are so clean, they can swim in the harbor. Let’s just quickly compare Copenhagen’s harbor to Boston…
Being Single Gives Your Friends Rights to Throw Things At You
If you’re not married when you turn 25 in Denmark, your friends have the right to throw cinnamon at you.
We’re not entirely sure why or where this custom came from, but we think this tradition is fantastic.
And you’d better not be single at 30, because your friends upgrade to throwing pepper at you.
Shudder to think what they do after 30..
Velbekomme (Enjoy and Thank You)
Alright, fun facts aside, we know you’re like us and eager to dive into the cuisine of our host country for your Denmark date night, so let’s get to it.
Danish food may not come off as super exciting upon first impression. In fact Danish cooking gets it’s roots in 1860 from common “peasant dishes”. Open-faced sandwiches and seafoods are common themes, however recently there has been an influx of imported foods, starting almost a culinary revolution in the nation. It’s always a challenge for us to narrow down a menu, but here are some of the most popular dishes in Denmark:
The average Dane drinks 1.6 cups of coffee a day which puts Denmark in the top 10 coffee drinking nations in the world. They love strong black coffee or lattes, which are pronounced “Lad-de” by the locals. As coffee lovers, we recommend having a cup or 2 to immerse yourself in the Danish lifestyle.
One of the most popular dishes in Denmark is Smørrebrød, which are open faced sandwiches with an endless amount of customization options, and typically served on buttered rye bread. Side note, the name Smørrebrød is literally the compound of the words butter and bread. This is not your typical rye bread, it’s a more dense bread than you typically find in the US.
Don’t worry, for your at home Denmark visit, you can use whatever bread you can find near you for your Smørrebrød. The sandwiches can have anything on them from pickled herring, to cold cuts, eggs, live pate, mushrooms, chives. There are so many recipes it’s insane, they just have to be open faced. Here are a few we came across:
Other Fun Foods
Clearly there are other options for foods to try, but we really think the Smørrebrød is perfect for the Danish experience. If it’s not your style or you’re looking for something a little different, check out some of these other Danish recipes to try (and don’t worry, we included dessert):
Klask is one of our favorite games. Not well known in the US, it’s a game created in Denmark by Mikkel Bertelsen, a Danish carpenter. Klask is a Danish party game, made from a wooden board with magnets underneath that drive pieces under the board. It’s kind of like air hockey but with magnets, and a few more rules.
We actually are ahead of the curve on this one. We discovered Klask a few years ago during the pandemic when we were desperate for a new game to play. It’s a ton of fun, and simple to play. It’s also taken off in recent years with an international following, “with official tournaments being held at 16 different countries leading to the World Championship tournament in Helsinki, Finland.” There’s a 2 player and 4 player version available, though we’ve only ever played the 2 person.
We hope this gives you inspiration to set up your own Denmark themed evening. If you’re looking for more countries to “visit”, check our our Moroccan themed post for more ideas. And if you’re wondering why Smoregan and Mallowry are decked out in their soccer kits, check out our post World Cup Ideas For Your Viewing Party!