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Seven things to do for Christmas 2014 in Copenhagen

Cold, yet beautiful. Every dark winter Copenhagen plays host to a series of Christmas traditions and events. Here is a selection from our Christmas expert

Christmas is big, BIG in this city, and Danish traditions, symbols and rituals, are supplemented by hundreds of local public festivals and events.

So don’t let exams and an empty wallet suck the life out of your Christmas! Go and try out some of these events.

Here is our selection of what Copenhagen has to offer this December:

Advanced Christmas Hearts 2014

OK I am biased, as I work for the UCPH Alumni which organises this.

But we are a university, and an intellectual approach to Christmas is of course the best way to kick off the festive season! The annual Advanced Christmas Hearts by UCPH Alumni this Thursday / November 27 is open to all UCPH students, international and Danish, and alumni. The event introduces one of the best known – and ancient – Danish Christmas traditions. You’re going to learn about its role in Danish society and challenge your motor skills.

If you don’t have nifty fingers, don’t despair! The highly skilled instructor will guide us through step-by-step tutorials. And of course, there will be lots of time to talk and socialize. You have to be a member of the alumni association, but that’s free of charge. Sign up here for the Christmas Heart event..

Rita’s Blue Christmas Market

Get your fair share of hipsterness every Saturday in December (11 am. to 4 pm.) at Rita’s Blue Christmas Market. The venue is the new ‘it’-place in the harbour area; the ‘Paper Island’, located just opposite Nyhavn and flanked by The Opera and Trangraven Marina, respectively.

This Christmas market has its own soundtrack with upcoming DJs playing trendy music and updating the old tradition of buying stuff and eating a lot, which is the core of this concept. However, the food stalls are really nice, so it seems like the perfect way to spend a Saturday.

The ice rink at Frederiksberg

Does it get more Christmassy than skating around in circles with fellow citizens at the Frederiksberg ice rink? I’m not sure. Rent a pair of ice skates and swirl around in the air, skate backwards … or stick to holding your loved one comfortably while circling the ring.

A UCPH mentor group used this venue as a get together, and you can see pictures of people bumping around on skates here.

Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas Tables

Do celebrities have a sense of aesthetics?

Apparently some do, or else the organisers claim they do, because each year Royal Copenhagen invites the public to admire perfect Christmas table settings, which supposedly are the works of hand-picked celebrities. Check out the iconic hand painted china on the tables at the Royal Copenhagen flagship store at Amagertorv.

The Tivoli Gardens

Sure, Tivoli is a tourist cliché. But you got to give it to the theme park designers that they’re pretty convincing. Usually, visiting Tivoli is a summer activity, but now the old garden dress up in an incredible amount of colored light bulbs.

It’s cold and beautiful. Santa Claus intends to show up, stalls keep visitors warm by selling mulled wine, and there’s a ‘Nordic Christmas’ theme (meaning real Nordic, not Danish – think northern Norway/Sweden/Finland).

This year, Central Europe enters the garden with the new concept ‘Alp Village’. Not sure we can ski, but the after ski ambience with beer and alp songs (yodelling maybe) will cheer up those who impatiently wait for the annual skiing holiday.
December 13 at 5:30 pm. 100 girls sing in the traditional Santa Lucia procession.

The Literary Approach

Too cold to venture outside? Get ready for the season with Denmark’s number one literary hero: Hans Christian Andersen. His sad fairy tale about a Christmas tree is available online thanks to Visit Denmark. Go straight to page 16.

Christmas Vespers

If you’re still here 24 December, and you don’t mind Christianity, you can join the grand Christmas Vespers at Vor Frue Kirke (Our Lady’s Church). The sermon is in Danish, but Copenhagen’s Boy Choir will be there, and they sing like angels.

It’s local, peaceful and solemn. The vespers takes place 2:30-4 pm. at Nørregade / Frue Plads. Show up at least 45 minutes In advance to get seating.

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