Disclaimer: So I didn’t take that many pictures of actual Easter celebrations, so for a better idea of what Easter is aesthetically like in Denmark, you should check out my host brother’s girlfriend’s blog (argh that was kind of a mouthful.) I was too busy eating and laying in hammocks and trying to understand Danish conversations in order to take pictures of the Easter festivities, which I regret, as I am currently nursing a food baby conceived by Easter brunch.
ANYWAYS, back in the States, I don’t really celebrate Easter. I’m not religious, and my family never had any traditions. We used to go to parties and do the egg hunt thing when I was younger, and one year we went to Las Vegas (Yes, we went to sin city on the day that Jesus rose again. Yes, I realize the irony.) When I’m at university back home, I celebrate the Easter holiday by sleeping.
It was nice, instead, to have a family easter celebration full of traditions. After an exhausting travel week with missed flights and stressful transportation, it was so nice to come back to Denmark. Here, although the country is in theory technically Lutheran but in practice pretty secular, they get 5 days off for Easter break. So of course, people were taking full advantage of the good weather and time off of work.
I drove up to my host family’s sommerhuset (summer house) with my host brother and his girlfriend on Sunday morning to celebrate Easter and their cousin’s 10th birthday! I wish I’d been able to spend more time there because it was absolutely beautiful. We got there early and spent some time walking around Rørvig Harbor, where people were enjoying the sunshine, old men were drinking on small boats, and little children sat on the docks fishing for crabs. People biked to the harbor, visited flea markets, relaxed together… ahhhhh bliss.
Then we went to the relatives’ house for my host family’s greatest and most impressive activity: eating. We started with fish dishes: herring in curry sauce, in a tomato sauce, in no sauce, fried fish with remoulade (my favorite), and a special shrimp dish with asparagus, pineapple, caviar, and eggs that my host grandma makes. This was all served with bread (mostly rye bread) so that we could make our own open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød.) Sounds filling? HA. Jokes on you because that’s just round one!! Then came meats: crispy pork with pickled red cabbage (another of my favorites), frikadeller, liver pate with bacon, pastry tarts filled with chicken and gravy. Of course, this was drank with schnapps (ugh schnapps. I have learned that I am not cut out for schnapps - too strong too early. I’m not a hardened Scandinavian enough for that.) and fantastic Danish beers - the Jacobsen Forårsbryg (spring brew) is happy happy times.
About to keel over, we moved onto Easter activities. The easter rabbit, ie my host grandma Inge (the most wonderful lady in the world. We don’t understand each other at all but it’s fine, she is the absolute sweetest) hid chocolates in the yard, one for each person. We then played a game where everyone decorated a hard-boiled egg and then had to destroy each other’s. Basically, everyone places his or her egg within a roped-off area and then can either roll their egg away from the others or drop it on top of a nearby egg. If you hit the side of some else’s egg, you can then take another turn and drop your egg on theirs. If your egg rolls out of the designated area or cracks enough that the yolk pops out, you’re out of the game. It sounds kinda iffy until you’re playing it - I’ve already decided that I’m going to adopt this tradition for my future family,
Then we had some relaxing time (ie HAMMOCK TIME) with soccer, a ball swing thing, dog-walking, etc. Relaxing was necessary because… MORE FOOD FOLLOWED. A fruit salad (well, fruit + chocolate crumbled in and a cream topping) and cupcakes. Then, we piled into the car for a half-minute drive to the beach, followed by my host parents and brother who biked. We watched the sunset from the sand dunes - no waves, a huge setting sun. It was so peaceful.
Then of course more food (three types of ice cream cake for Frederikke’s birthday!) and coffee, before I drove home with my host siblings. I wish I could have stayed at the sommerhuset an extra day. In retrospect, I probably could have, but I thought needed an extra homework / laundry day. Oh, regrets.
Danes are really into their hygge - a sense of warm, intimate coziness where everyone feels really comfortable - and we experienced a lot of it during the weekend. I loved relaxing and getting to partake in some family traditions. Also the eating.
Hope everyone else had a great Easter break as well!
** also ONLY ONE MONTH LEFT IN COPENHAGEN. I’m going to cry, don’t make me leave please !!!