FREJA #6 & DANA #15 MEETING
1st Sunday of each month
Secretary Natalie Heer
Salinas Masonic Center
48 East San Joaquin St
Telephone - Natalie Heer 831-426-4623
Email - email@example.com
Danish Societies Website
HEJLS MINDE #23 MEETING
1st Wednesday of each month
12:00 Noon Meeting
Bit O' Denmark
473 Alisal Rd
For More Information including membership, please contact - Grand Secretaries - Tim Heer firstname.lastname@example.org or Natalie Heer email@example.com.
Danish Societies Website
MADS TOLLING - CONCERT SCHEDULE
Venue & Tickets
Internationally renowned Danish violinist, composer and two-time Grammy Award-winner Mads Tolling is a former member of the Turtle Island Quartet and The Stanley Clarke Band. He has toured internationally and has released three studio albums: “The Playmaker,” “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty-Live at Yoshi’s,” and “Mads Tolling & The Mads Men — Playing the 60s.” Mads has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, and his recordings have received rave reviews in Downbeat Magazine, Strings Magazine, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Mads Tolling and The Mads Men bring a fun and exciting program that is as nostalgic as it is contemporary, with reimagined classic songs from 1960s television, film, and radio. The repertoire in the music of the mad men era ranges from “Mission Impossible” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” to “A Taste of Honey” and “Georgia on my Mind.”
In addition to his illustrious career as a performer, Mads Tolling is also an active composer and educator, creating work on his original albums and leading masterclasses and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada as a certified Yamaha clinician.
Mads Tolling Website
Mads Tolling Facebook
VALDEMAR #12 & DANNEVIRKE #9 MEETING
1st Friday of every month.
Odd Fellows Hall
1300 Stardust St
Reno, NV 89503
THOR #5 & THORA #11 MEETING
Meetings 1st Saturday of each month
1110 Shaw Ave
DANISH SOLDIERS CLUB MONTHLY MEETING
Please bring your own food, drink, and utensils, and of course, practice all the usual safety protocols, to comply with county guidelines:
All buildings except the restrooms will be closed.
Members will provide their own lunch and beverages. The bar will be closed.
Your group may be up to 10 people sitting together.
Picnic tables will be spaced 6 feet apart.
Face coverings are required until you are seated with your group.
And, no reservations are necessary! Welcome, to all who can make it!
The Danish Soldiers Club gathers on the first Saturday of every month, at 4560 Kastania Road, Petaluma.
The Board of Directors meets at 11am.
The General Membership schedule:
11am – 12 pm: Gathering and Fellowship; the bar is open.
12pm: The Flag Ceremony and National Anthems.
12:15pm: The General Membership Meeting commences.
1pm: Lunch is served.
The 2021 schedule will depend on the opening of restrictions. When it is allowable, the same protocols that were in place for outdoor meetings last year will apply.
The 2021 schedule:
July 3: Smørrebrød lunch at Kastania.
August 7: Smørrebrød lunch at Kastania.
September 4: New York Strip Steak BBQ at Kastania.
October 2: Smørrebrød lunch at Kastania, board nominations.
November 6: Smørrebrød lunch at Kastania, board election.
December 19: Julefest at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall
Kastania Fælled is located at 4560 Kastania Road. Take Hwy 101 to the Kastania Road exit, turn west, and follow the road. There is a sign that says “No Outlet,” and that’s the one you want. It will turn and head south along the freeway. The Gate is marked by a Danish flag, and our meeting house is at the end of the long dirt driveway.
Soldiers Club Website
DANMARK #2 & THYRA #3 MEETING
Meetings on Zoom
2nd Wednesday of every month.
6:30 Social Hour
Odd Fellows Building
26 7th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
DANISH AMERICAN WOMEN'S CLUB MEETING
Lunch meeting - 2nd Thursday of Each Month
Various Bay Area Restaurants
Temporarily conducting zoom gatherings during COVID
Please Join Us!
For More Info Contact:
Bente Ellis - Email firstname.lastname@example.org
THYRA #9 & VALBORG #1
Meetings on Zoom Until Further Notice
2nd Thursday of every month.
20920 Redwood Rd
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Danish Society Website
REBILD CHAPTER LEADERSHIP VIRTUAL MEETING
Quarterly International Chapter Leadership meeting on Zoom.
Meeting begins at 10:00AM Central (Chicago) time
The purpose is to discuss most recent Rebild Board of Directors meeting, and to discuss current issues pertaining to Rebild.
Zoom link will be sent to Chapter President's and officers prior to meeting.
Rebild is the Danish American Friendship organization formed in 1912. Each year, the friendship of Denmark and the United States is celebrated on July 4th at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg. Anyone interested in the friendly relationship between the two countries is invited to join us!
July 4 Rebild Festival
Also, each year the annual U.S. conference is held in a different city in the United States. Anyone interested in Danish American friendship is invited to join us.
October 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona
April 2022 in Chicago, Illinois
For more information, please contact the National U.S. Secretary, Linda Steffensen at email@example.com
Or, the National Secretary in Denmark, Lars Bisgaard at firstname.lastname@example.org
SØNDERJYLLAND #10 MEETING
2nd Saturday of April, June, August, October
DANISH SISTERHOOD MARGRETHE LODGE #24 MEETING
Connect with your Danish heritage by joining the Danish Sisterhood. We are part of the Supreme Lodge of the Danish Sisterhood of America, an organization with lodges in many states and in Canada.
Our lodge was established in San Francisco in March 1894. We were proud to celebrate our 125th Anniversary in 2019. We now have our monthly gatherings at the Danish Retirement Home, Aldersly, located in San Rafael. After our short meeting we always enjoy an authentic traditional Danish lunch. If you are looking for Danish hygge, great food and meeting new friends you found it. You don’t have to be Danish to join. Please come visit us and feel free to bring a friend along. Cost for lunch is $25.00. Please be sure to RSVP via email to Lizette.
Margrethe Lodge #24 Website
Danish Retirement Home, Aldersly
326 Mission Ave.San Rafael, CA 94901
Email Lizette Burtis email@example.com for more information, or to register.
BORNHOLM #14 MEETING
3rd Friday of every month
DANISH SOCIETIES OF DANIA & DANNEBROG - 2021 CONVENTION
1150 9th St
Modesto, CA. 95354
The Danish Societies of Dania and Dannebrog of California and Nevada have rescheduled their annual convention for September 9-11, 2021. The change is due to COVID, and it is hoped that the September dates will be late enough to allow for a safe gathering. The convention, where Grand Lodge officers and delegates meet to conduct annual business and elect new officers, will be held at the Double Tree Hotel in Modesto, California.
Convention Registration Form
In their December 2020 newsletter, it was stated, “In light of the issues affected by Covid 19, our Annual Dania & Dannebrog Conventions had to be postponed from April 22-24, 2021 to September 9-11, 2021. Both Executive Committees ponder on this topic and felt we were delaying our date well after the benefit of the newly implemented vaccine program will be in place. Hopefully, there will be no need for further delays. Please mark your calendars. Remember our theme will be a Celebration of the American Graffiti, so come prepared for our casual Friday night attired in your 1950-60’s garb. We will keep you posted of any additional changes that may occur. John Scheuber and the Bornholm Convention Committee”.
Dania Grand President Jana Heer said that the past year has been difficult as most of the lodge meetings have been canceled, as well as the original 2020 convention which had been planned for April. She said that one lodge has been using Zoom for their meetings. They’ve also been using telephone conference calls. Jana holds the distinction as the first female Dania Grand President who has also served as Dannebrog Grand President.
The shared mission of The Danish Societies of Dania & Dannebrog is stated on their website, “We are a charitable organization that honors and celebrates Danish American heritage. We raise and maintain funds so that we can comfort the sick and distressed, award scholarships to our youth and supplement our retiree’s pensions. We meet regularly to network, enjoy Danish customs, and always have a good time. We are looking for new friendships to enrich our club.”
During normal times, the branches have wonderful monthly gatherings to celebrate their Danish heritage with much “hygge” and great food. They encourage anyone interested in Danish culture to join them, as they are always looking for new members. They also maintain a scholarship fund for college students who are members, or children of members.
California branches are located in San Francisco, Fresno, Salinas, Livermore, Castro Valley, Petaluma, Ferndale, San Jose, Santa Maria, Solvang, and Modesto. The Nevada branch is in Reno. Anyone interested in more information, or membership is encouraged to contact the Grand Secretaries - Tim Heer firstname.lastname@example.org or Natalie Heer email@example.com.
BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE
Deadlines for Submission: April 15 and September 15
The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer grants to qualified researchers for study in area of common interest. Bodtker Grants provide stipends of up to $5,000 for students or graduates interested in exploring topics related to Danish history and heritage in North America.
A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.
Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000
CHURCH AND LIFE - NEW ISSUE
For more information and to Subscribe...
CHURCH AND LIFE: A BRIEF HISTORY
by Thorvald Hansen
Church and Life (originally, Kirke og Folk) was begun by the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1952 as an exclusively Danish publication in line with its original purpose which was to serve the Danish readership of the church. Until the 1930s the official church paper had been Kirkelig Samler, but when this had been replaced by the English language publication, Lutheran Tidings, the Danish readers were served by a page called Kirkelig Samler in the Danish language Dannevirke, a privately owned weekly which was unofficially related to the church. When this publication ceased in1951, Danish news of the church was no longer available and this was missed, particularly by older readers. It was to fill this vacuum that the new Danish publication was begun.
The first issues were distributed gratis to some 750 individuals who might be interested, but within a short time it became a subscription paper with some 1,000 subscribers. It was a 16 page paper issued twice monthly. When the Lutheran Church in America was born in 1963 and Lutheran Tidings ceased publication, some of the readers of that paper became subscribers to Church and Life. Today it has become an exclusively English language publication of 12 to l6 pages (depending on the material available) and is issued monthly. The subscription price is $20 per year. Gifts and memorials make up the shortfall, and the paper continues to function in the black. For its content the paper depends upon the voluntary contributions of a significant number of writers. The December issue is at least twice the normal size for Christmas .
In 1983 the name was changed to Church and Life. This is not, nor was it intended to be, a translation of the Danish, but rather an indication that the church body out of which it grew was concerned also with this earthly life.
Throughout its long history the paper has had six full time editors: Holger Strandskov, Paul Wikman, Michael Mikkelsen, Johannes Knudsen, and Thorvald Hansen. The present editor, Joy Ibsen, is the daughter of a former pastor in the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Currently the paper serves some 460 subscribers as a tie that binds them, not only to one another, but to the religious and social environment with which they have been familiar. This is not an exclusive group, nor are they guided by nostalgia, but one to which any and all who share similar values are more than welcome.
Reference: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
2021 REBILD ANNUAL USA CONFERENCE
The Arizona Rebild Annual Conference, originally scheduled for last spring, has been rescheduled for October 2021. The new dates have the Pre-tour to the Grand Canyon and Sedona October 24-27, the Conference at the Tempe Embassy Suites October 27-30, and the Post-Tour to Tombstone and Tucson October 31-November 3.
Everyone interested in Danish American friendship is welcome!
“We were very disappointed that we had to cancel the conference last spring due to COVID-19”, said Rebild U.S. Vice President Bruce Bro, but we are excited to reschedule for October 2021. Late October and early November is an equally beautiful time of year in Arizona, and we know everyone will enjoy the weather and the entertaining program”.
The program is essentially the same as was planned for last March. The Pre-Tour includes a welcome dinner at the Tempe Embassy Suites on October 24, followed by the Ranchos de los Cabelleros in Wickenburg with a cowboy barbecue and entertainment, an afternoon at the Grand Canyon, and finishing with a night and morning in beautiful Sedona.
The conference runs October 27-30 with a welcome dinner the first night, filled by a Desert Botanical Gardens tour and Smørrebrødfest, a tour of the Scottsdale Museum of the West on October 29 along with dinner and a Bull Riding show at the Buffalo Chip Saloon, and finally a tour of the Heard Museum and the Gala Dinner on Saturday night October 30. Rebild leadership and board meetings will be conducted the mornings of the conference with the Rebild General Membership meeting on Saturday morning October 31.
One addition to the events not offered in March will be a tour of the Niels Petersen House Museum in Tempe. Petersen, a Danish Immigrant in the 1800’s was a rancher and a founding father of the town of Tempe. He built a beautiful Victorian style house near Tempe in the late 1800’s, which is now a museum. The house offers a glimpse of the life of Niels and Susanna Petersen during that time period.
The Post-Tour will depart Tempe Sunday morning October 31 and travel to Tombstone and “The Gunfight at the OK Corral”. On Monday November 1 the tour group will explore the incredible Kartchner Caverns followed by an evening banquet and entertainment in Tucson. Tuesday morning November 2 includes a tour of Tucson’s Sonoran Desert Museum and then back to Tempe for a farewell dinner. Departures for home will be the next day, Wednesday November 3.
“We once again welcome all Rebild Members to Arizona”, added Bro. “But we also extend a welcome to non-members to join us and learn about Rebild - the Danish American Friendship Society”.
Hotel Information: Hotel IS included for Pre and Post tours. Your Hotel room during the conference is NOT included in your registration (Oct 27-31). To reserve your room, call the hotel at the number on the registration form, or here directly with the hotel online.
Rebild Arizona 2021 ScheduleUpdated July 26, 2021
Sunday October 24
Pre-Tour Welcome Dinner at Tempe Embassy Suites Overnight at Tempe Embassy Suites
Monday October 25
Pre-Tour Ranchos de los Caballeros
Overnight at Caballeros
Tuesday October 26
Grand Canyon/Sedona Overnight at Matterhorn Inn, Sedona
Annual Conference Schedule -
Wednesday October 27
Conference Arrival at Tempe Embassy Suites
Reception and Welcome Dinner
Thursday October 28
AM - Chapter Presidents/Rebild Board Meetings
Afternoon - Desert Botanical Gardens
Evening - Smørrebrødfest
Friday October 29 - No Business Meetings
AM - Petersen House Museum tourAM - Morning Hike with the Hiking Viking
Afternoon - Museum of the West
Evening - Buffalo Chip Saloon (Dinner and Bull Riding Show)
Saturday October 30
AM - General Membership Meeting
Afternoon - Heard Museum
Evening - Gala Dinner
Sunday October 31
Sunday October 31
Morning Departures to Tombstone Gunfight at the OK Corall
Overnight in Tombstone
Monday November 1
AM - Kartchner Caverns
Evening - Tucson Dinner and Mads Tolling concert at Embassy Suites
Overnight at Tucson Embassy Suites
Tuesday November 2
AM - Sonoran Desert Museum
Return to Tempe & Farewell Dinner
Overnight at Tempe Embassy Suites
Wednesday November 3
Post Tour Departures
More Information and questions -
Email - Bruce Bro
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - PETER LASSEN
Peter Lassen (31 Oct 1800 - 26 April 1859) born in Farum (Copenhagen), Denmark in 1800, is the namesake for both Lassen County and Lassen Volcanic National Park. He was a blacksmith by trade and characterized the “old pioneer” spirit and explorations of the Wild West. (Historical records differ on his specific birth date.)
Lassen began his life in America in Boston, moved to Philadelphia and Missouri as he continued westward, eventually reaching Oregon, Fort Ross and Bodega Bay. He traveled south to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, where he was appointed to a posse to look for horses stolen from Sutter’s Ranch.
When Lassen arrived at the confluence of the Sacramento River and Deer Creek, he was so impressed with the country side, he obtained the required Mexican citizenship so he could purchase 22,000 acres at Deer Creek. In 1845 he established the Bosuejo Ranch and then returned to Missouri to bring people to live there. The emigrants in his group were the first to cross the Lassen Trail.
He established Benton City, also known as Lassen Ranch. He built Adobe buildings, a blacksmith shop and a store. Benton City became one of the most important sites in Northern California at the time. It was a residence for Colonel Fremont in 1846, for he and 60 of his men.
Lassen later sold and divided his property holdings between two men and went prospecting for gold. Lassen found gold in 1855 in Honey Lake Valley and held many leadership positions. One of his many roles was president of the Nataqua Territory and surveyor. He was friends with several Native American tribes. He and his party built a cabin for the winter. The cabin burned down in 1896 and was not replaced.
Lassen continued to search for additional locations for prospecting. He discovered a silver mine near Black Rock Dessert in Nevada. He organized a scouting party of two groups to meet at Black Rock Canyon. The day after he and his two traveling companions, Edward Clapper and Lemericus Wyatt, arrived at the site in April of 1859, Lassen and Clapper were shot and killed. Speculation remains if the shot was indeed fired by a Native American or a member of his own scouting party. Native Americans are attributed for their deaths on the Lassen Monument. Wyatt escaped being shot and rode 124 miles to Susanville to share the tragic news.
A scouting party was able to recover Lassen’s body, but not Clapper’s. Area residents erected a monument to Lassen to recognize him for the many good deeds of his lifetime. He is buried under the Ponderosa pine tree he camped his first night in the Honey Lake Valley. The original monument burned in 1917 and was replaced with the current one.
According to historic documents, Clapper’s body was recovered in May 1990 by rock hunters in the Black Rock Desert. They found a skull and upper body skeleton that was determined to be the remains of Edward Clapper. In May of 1992, his remains were placed at the Lassen Monument located on Wingfield Road, just south of Susanville.
High in the northeastern Sierra is Lassen County, where volcanic activity has shaped the landscape. Peter Lassen, a Danish immigrant, came to Oregon in 1839 and later settled in the northern Sacramento Valley. He returned to Missouri and led a 12-wagon emigrant train along “Lassen Emigrant Trail” in 1848 into California. - Wikipedia
THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE DANISH SISTERHOOD OF AMERICA
The Danish Sisterhood of America was founded on December 1, 1883 by Christine Hemmingsen, a Danish immigrant from Orup, Denmark. Inspired by the success of the Danish Brotherhood of America, Mrs. Hemmingsen established Christine Lodge #1 in Negaunee, Michigan. The Danish Sisterhood of today continues to grow with numerous lodges located throughout the United States and Canada.
The Danish culture is rich – its history long and distinguished, going back thousands of years. Membership in the Danish Sisterhood of America is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your Danish heritage, learn more about Danish customs and traditions, and strengthen your connection to Denmark. A cordial invitation is extended to you to join the largest national Danish organization dedicated to preserving and sharing these deeply rooted traditions.
Danish Sisterhood History
Danish Sisterhood Website
Christmas in Denmark embodies the spirit of joy and enthusiasm to the maximum. As December approaches, every house and street is lit up with colourful lights, so much so that it neutralizes the effect of a dull winter. Most Danes believe that Christmas is about carols and songs, the aroma of spruce, oranges and freshly baked cookies. One of the city's oldest traditions is being adorned with thousands of candles to create an atmosphere of warmth, togetherness, relaxation and love. Usually, every store and street is elaborately decorated with green, red or white paper hearts, since this is the Danish symbol during Christmas. Again, even houses and dinner tables are ornamented with lights and hearts. Christmas cookies and æbleskiver are made for both the children and adults. Read on to learn more about the customs and traditions of Christmas in Denmark.
Some people in Denmark give and receive extra Advent presents on the four Sundays of Advent.
Different types of Advent candles and calendars are popular in Denmark. A Kalenderlys (calendar-candle) is an Advent candle and most people have one of these types of candles. A Pakkekalender (gift calendar) is also a fun way to countdown to Christmas Eve. There are 24 small gifts for the children in the calendar, one for each day until Christmas Eve.
Julekalender (christmas calendar) is a television series with 24 episodes. One episode is shown each day in December with the last one being aired on Christmas Eve. The first Julekalender was shown on TV in Denmark in 1962. The two main Danish TV channels DR and TV2 both show different versions of Julekalender each year. The theme of the stories in the Julekalender normally follow a similar storyline, with someone trying to ruin Christmas and the main characters saving Christmas!
Christmas Parties are held from 1st November to 24th December where everyone has a good time! Making cakes and biscuits is popular in the time before Christmas. Gingerbread cookies and vanilla ones are often favorites.
In Denmark most people go to a Church Service on Christmas Eve about 4.00pm to hear the Christmas sermon or talk. It's also an old, traditional custom to give animals a treat on Christmas Eve, so some people go for a walk in the park or woods and they might take some food to give the animals and birds. You might also go for a walk to give you an appetite for the Christmas meal!
When they get home the main Christmas meal is eaten between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. It's served on a beautifully decorated table. Popular Christmas foods include roast duck, goose or pork. They are served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beetroot and cranberry jam/sauce.
Most families have a 'ris á la mande' (a special kind of rice pudding, made of milk, rice, vanilla, almonds and whipped cream) for dessert. All but one of the almonds are chopped into pieces. The person who finds the whole almond gets a present called a Mandelgave (almond present). Traditionally the little present was a marzipan pig! Now a marzipan pig is still sometimes given, but it's also often something like sweets or a little toy.
After the meal the lights on the Christmas Tree are lit, people might dance around the tree and sing carols. Then it's time for people to open their presents. The Christmas tree normally has a gold or silver star on the top and often has silver 'fairy hair' on it to make it glitter.
On Christmas day people meet with their family and have a big lunch together with danish open-faced sandwiches on rye-bread.
In Denmark, children believe that their presents are brought by the 'Julemanden' (which means 'Christmas Man' or 'Yule Man'). He looks very similar to Santa Claus and also travels with a sleigh and reindeer. He lives in Greenland, likes rice pudding and is helped by 'nisser' which are like elves.
St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) is also celebrated on December 13th, although it's more famous for being celebrated in Denmark's neighbor, Sweden.
In Danish Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Glædelig Jul'.
Mary Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat
Born: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary was born on 5 February 1972 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Marriage: On 14 May 2004, on the occasion of her marriage to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, she became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark. The marriage ceremony took place in Copenhagen Cathedral, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace.
Family Photo: Franne Voigt
Children: HRH Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, born on 15 October 2005, HRH Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, born on 21 April 2007, HRH Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander, born on 8 January 2011 and HRH Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda, born on 8 January 2011.
Family: The Crown Princess is the youngest daughter of John Dalgleish Donaldson, who was born in Scotland on 5 September 1941. He is a Professor of Applied Mathematics. Her mother was Mrs. Henrietta Clark Donaldson, born 12 May 1942. The couple were married in Edinburgh, Scotland on 31 August 1963 and emigrated to Australia in November that year. They became Australian citizens in 1975. Crown Princess Mary’s mother worked as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of The University of Tasmania. Henrietta Clark Donaldson died 20 November 1997. On 5 September 2001, Professor John Donaldson married Susan Elizabeth Donaldson (née Horwood), an author from Britain. The Crown Princess has two sisters and a brother: Jane Alison Stephens, born 26 December 1965, Patricia Anne Bailey, born 16 March 1968, and John Stuart Donaldson, born 9 July 1970.
Crown Princess Mary's biography on The Royal House website -
HRH The Crown Princess
Deadline for Submission: April 15
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN BIRTHDAY
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), Danish author and poet, wrote many poems, plays, stories and travel essays, but is best known for his fairy tales of which there are over one hundred and fifty, published in numerous collections during his life and many still in print today.
His first collection of Fairy Tales, Told for Children was published in 1835. He broke new ground for Danish literature with his style and use of idiom, irony and humor, memorable characters and un-didactic moral teaching inspired by the primitive folk tales he had learned as a child. Though they do not all end happily his Fairy Tales resound with an authenticity that only unabashed sincerity can produce from a man who could still see through a child’s eyes;
“Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.” —from “The Little Match Girl”
Andersen’s fairy tales of fantasy with moral lessons are popular with children and adults all over the world, and they also contain autobiographical details of the man himself. Born on 2 April, 1805 in Odense, on the Danish island of Funen, Denmark, he was the only son of washerwoman Anna Maria Andersdatter (d.1833) and shoemaker Hans Andersen (d.1816). They were very poor, but Hans took his son to the local playhouse and nurtured his creative side by making him his own toys. Young Hans grew to be tall and lanky, awkward and effeminate, but he loved to sing and dance, and he had a vivid imagination that would soon find its voice. - The Literature Network
HC Andersen Website
by The University of Southern Denmark, Odense
(In Danish and English)
smithsonianmag.com March 2, 2021
Most museums dedicated to a specific historical figure aim to teach visitors about that person. But, the new H.C. Andersen's House, scheduled to open this summer in Denmark, is an exception to the rule.
The museum’s creative director, Henrik Lübker, says the museum in Odense is designed not to showcase Andersen’s life and his classic stories like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” but to echo the sensibility of a fairy tale writer who rarely offered his audience simple lessons.
“It’s not a historical museum,” he says. “It’s more an existential museum.”
Renderings of the museum, which includes 60,000 square feet of building space plus 75,000 square feet of gardens, all designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, reveal that it is full of curves. Labyrinthine hedges almost merge with sinuous wooden pavilions, blurring the line between nature and architecture. A long ramp leads underground only to reveal an unexpected garden.
“It’s kind of like a universe where nothing is quite as it seems,” Lübker says. “Everything you thought you knew can be experienced anew.”
Andersen’s own story has a fairy-tale arc. He was born in 1805 to a mother who worked as a washerwoman in Odense. Yet he dreamed of being a famous writer. He persistently pursued theater directors and potential benefactors, eventually winning help from a wealthy family to continue his education and learn to function in sophisticated circles.
“For a long time he was notorious for being a preposterous young man who came from a dirt poor family,” says Jack Zipes, literature professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota and author of Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller.
Despite setbacks—his first poetry and novels were, in Zipes’ words, “not very good, and in fact terrible”—Andersen persisted in seeking recognition for his work. When he eventually wrote “The Ugly Duckling” in 1843, Zipes says, it was clear to everyone in Denmark’s small literary circles that it was a work of autobiography. It’s easy to imagine the experiences that might have led Andersen to describe the tribulations of the little swan, who, according to another duck, was “too big and strange, and therefore he needs a good whacking.”
Andersen’s own emergence as something close to a respected swan of an author came after he began publishing fairy tales in 1835. Unlike the Brothers Grimm—contemporaries whom Andersen admired—he did not collect folk tales but instead adapted existing stories or wrote his own from scratch. According to Maria Tatar, professor emeritus at Harvard University and author of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, Andersen most likely learned some of the basic plots he used, as well as storytelling techniques, while spending time in spinning rooms and other workplaces his mother shared with women when he was a child. Although his first story collection, published in 1835, was titled Fairy Tales Told for Children, he always noted that he was writing for a multigenerational audience, including many jokes and ideas that would have gone over kids’ heads.
While some of his stories have apparent moral lessons, many are more ambiguous, or subversive, particularly in terms of relations between the social classes. In “The Tinderbox,” published in 1835, a spiteful common soldier ultimately takes revenge against a king and queen who imprisoned him by having huge dogs rip them and their entire court to shreds before marrying the princess and becoming king himself.
“It has nothing to do with being of moral stature,” Lübker says. “It’s all about power. If you have the dogs, people will say ‘of course you can be king, you have the power.’”
Tatar says it’s possible to see the stories through many different lenses. When she taught Andersen’s work to students, she used to focus on the disciplinary aspects of his stories, in which characters often face terrible punishments for their misdeeds. “After class, there was always a group of three or four—they tended to be young women—who came up to me, and they said ‘but his fairy tales are so beautiful,’” she says.
That led her to begin focusing her attention in a different way. For example, in “The Little Match Girl” from 1845, an impoverished, abused girl freezes to death on the street on New Year’s Eve. But, as she lights one match after another, she sees luminous visions of warm rooms, abundant food and her loving grandmother.
“She is something of an artist in terms of giving us an inner world,” Tatar says. “I started to see that [Andersen] really gives us these moving pictures, and it’s not just their beauty that gets us hooked, I think, but also an ethic of empathy—we’re moved by these images. We start to care about them. And it makes us curious about the inner lives of his characters.”
Lübker says the exhibits in the museum are designed to elicit that kind of engagement with the stories. In an area devoted to “The Little Mermaid,” visitors can look up at a glass ceiling through a pool of water and see people up in the garden, and the sky above them.
“You can’t talk to them, because they’re separated from you,” Lübker says. “You can lie down on pillows on the floor and you can hear the mermaid’s sisters tell about the first time they were up there. We hope we can create this sense of longing for something else in the visitor.”
Another part of the museum sets out to recreate the ominous ambiance of “The Shadow,” a fairy tale Andersen wrote in 1847 in which a good man’s evil shadow eventually replaces and destroys him. Visitors see what at first appears to be their shadows behaving just as they normally do, until they suddenly begin acting on their own. “I think it would ruin the experience if I went too much into detail,” says Lübker.
“They’re very deep stories, and there are many layers to them,” Lübker adds. “Instead of just giving one interpretation, we want to create them in a sense where people can really feel something that is deeper and richer than what their memory of the story is.”
The museum’s architect, Kengo Kuma, known for designing Tokyo’s new National Stadium, built for the 2020 Summer Olympics (now scheduled to be held in 2021), shies away from the view of a building as an autonomous object, Lübker explains. “Architecture for him is kind of like music,” Lübker says. “It’s like a sequence: How you move through space, what you experience. It’s about that meeting between you and the architecture.”
Plans for the museum go back to around 2010, when Odense decided to close off a main thoroughfare that previously divided the city center. The project’s large footprint currently contains the existing, much smaller, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Tinderbox Cultural Centre for Children, the building where Andersen was born and Lotzes Have, park themed after Andersen. The city chose Kuma’s firm, which is working together with Danish collaborators Cornelius+Vöge Architects, the MASU Planning Landscape Architects and Eduard Troelsgård Engineers, through a competitive process. In a separate competition, Event Communication of Britain was chosen to design the museum’s exhibitions.
The museum is situated with Andersen’s birthplace as its cornerstone so that visitors’ journeys will end in the room where he is said to have been born. It will also work to connect visitors to other Odense attractions related to Andersen, including his childhood home where he lived until moving to Copenhagen at age 14 to pursue his career in the arts. “Inspired by Boston’s Freedom Trail, we have physical footprints that allow you to walk in the footsteps of Andersen around the city from location to location,” says Lübker.
Due to continuing pandemic-related travel restrictions, Lübker says, when the museum opens this summer, its first visitors may be mostly from within Denmark. But it expects to eventually draw guests from around the world thanks to Andersen’s global popularity.
Tatar notes that Andersen’s fairy tales have been translated into numerous languages and are very popular in China and across Asia, among other places. Artists have also reworked them into uncountable films, picture books and other forms over the decades. The Disney movie Frozen, for example, uses “The Snow Queen” as the source material for a radically transformed story about sisterly love—which, in turn, has been claimed by LGBTQ and disabled communities as a celebration of openly embracing one’s unique qualities. “The core is still there, but it becomes something entirely new that is relevant to what we think about today,” Tatar says.
At the time of Andersen’s death in 1875, the 70-year-old was an internationally recognized writer of iconic stories. But he couldn’t have known how fondly he would be remembered almost 150 years later.
“He never lost the feeling that he was not appreciated enough,” Zipes says. “He would jump for joy to go back to Odense and see this marvelous museum that’s been created in his honor.”
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JOACHIM FERDINAND RICHARDT
Joachim Ferdinand Richardt (10 April 1819 - 29 October 1895) was a Danish-American artist. In Denmark he is known for his lithographs of manor houses, and in the U.S. for his paintings of Niagara Falls and other landscapes.
Ferdinand Richardt, the son of Johan Joachim Richardt and Johanne Frederikke née Bohse, was born in Brede, north of Copenhagen in 1819. His father ran the inn/company store at the Brede factory. In 1832 the family relocated to nearby Ørholm to operate the inn at the paper-factory there. In 1839, they moved to Copenhagen.
Richardt became briefly a carpenter's apprentice in 1835, but soon decided on a career in fine art, following the lead of his brother Carl. Beginning in 1836 Richardt studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art under the architect and designer Gustav Friedrich Hetsch, the historical painter J. L. Lund and the classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Richardt was awarded the Academy's small and large silver medals in 1839 and 1840, respectively.
In 1847, he received a five-year stipend from the crown, on the condition that he deliver one architectural and one landscape painting each year to the royal collection. Between 1855 and 1859 he visited in the United States. He maintained a studio in New York City, while traveling during the summers to Niagara Falls and to various destinations east of the Mississippi River.
After returning to Denmark, Richardt married the widow Sophia Schneider née Linnemann (1831-1888) in 1862. They traveled for part of a year in southern Europe, and from 1863 they lived for a period in England. In February 1864, Queen Victoria invited Richardt to display his art work to the court at Windsor Castle.
Image - The Golden Gate Moonlight
In 1872 and 1873, Richardt sold many of his accumulated paintings and lithographs before emigrating to the United States with his family. They lived first in the town of Niagara Falls, N.Y. where the artist again produced canvases depicting the great waterfall and the surrounding area. In 1875, the Richardts moved to San Francisco, and finally in 1876 to Oakland. For the remaining twenty years of his life Richardt was active as a painter of California landscapes with a concentration on the San Francisco Bay Area. He exhibited and sold his works in San Francisco until at least 1887. At the same time he taught drawing privately.
He died during 1895 in Oakland, California. At his death, Richardt left a daughter, Johanna (1862-1897), and a stepson, Joost Schneider.
During the 1840s, 50s and 60s, Richardt travelled in Denmark and Sweden, and made numerous drawings of manor houses and estates. These were lithographed with the best techniques of the time, and published along with descriptions by well-known historians in the books:
Richardt drew a vast number of pictures besides those published. These served as studies for his hundreds of oil paintings and for other print works. At his death, more than 1,000 Danish and American drawings passed to his daughter, and later to his stepson. The drawings were considered to be lost, until the 1990s when American scholar and cultural historian Melinda Young Stuart located them in the possession of Justine van Hemert Keller, the grandchild of Richardt's stepson. Over 500 of the original drawings, on which Richardt's paintings and lithographs were based, are preserved in the archives of Denmark's Nationalmuseet, a gift of the artist's great-granddaughter. Other drawings are held at the Oakland Museum of California, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, and elsewhere.
In 2003, more than 100 of the newly found drawings were reproduced, along with other works by Richardt in the book Danish Manorhouses and America (see below). A copy of this book was presented as a gift by the Danish prime minister's wife to the American First Lady when she came to Copenhagen on an official visit.
In 2007, 55 of Richardt's American drawings were exhibited at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute; a catalogue was published (see below). The exhibit later traveled to the Grand Rapids Art Museum where it was on view during the summer of 2008. -Wikipedia
From The Royal Danish House website - Once again this year, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday on 16 April will be marked differently than usual. Like last year, The Queen will spend the day at Fredensborg Palace, where the birthday will be celebrated privately.
When Her Majesty The Queen turned 80 years old almost a year ago, the day turned out to be different than planned. In light of the situation with COVID-19 in the Danish society, the round birthday was celebrated at Fredensborg Palace with digital congratulations from inside Denmark and abroad, joint singing and Her Majesty’s address to the Danish people in the evening. One year later, the situation with COVID-19 continues to mean that The Queen’s birthday must be celebrated differently than the traditional way. Her Majesty and the royal family will therefore not come out on the balcony during the changing of the guard at Amalienborg at 12:00 noon this year. Instead, The Queen will celebrate the day privately at Fredensborg Palace.
However, it will still be possible to send The Queen a birthday greeting via the Royal Danish House’s digital platforms. On the morning of 16 April, a congratulations list will be set up on the Royal Danish House’s website, where it will be possible to send personal felicitations to The Queen. Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, it will not be possible to show up physically at Det Gule Palæ at Amalienborg to handwrite a greeting for Her Majesty. The birthday will be marked throughout the day on the Royal Danish House’s social media and website.
Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Her Majesty The Queen, became Queen of Denmark in 1972. Margrethe II was born on 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace as the daughter of King Frederik IX (d. 1972) and Queen Ingrid, born Princess of Sweden (d. 2000)
Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen
The Queen’s motto is "God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength".
The Royal Family comprises Her Majesty The Queen’s relatives, including HRH Princess Benedikte and Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie.
Christening and confirmation: HM The Queen was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the Naval Church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 at Fredensborg Palace.
The Act of Succession: The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 gave women the right of succession to the Danish throne but only secondarily. On the occasion of her accession to the throne on 14 January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession. In 2009, The Act of Succession was amended so that the eldest child (regardless of gender) succeeds to the throne.
A seat on the State Council: On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council, and she subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of King Frederik IX.
Wedding: On 10 June 1967, the Heir Apparent married Henri Marie Jean André, Count of Laborde de Monpezat, who in connection with the marriage became Prince Henrik of Denmark. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. Prince Henrik passed away on 13 February 2018.
Children: HRH Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian, born 26 May 1968, and HRH Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, born 7 June 1969.
2020 Birthday Address to the Public:
April 16, 2020
Royal House Website
GOD PÅSKE (EASTER SUNDAY)
Easter, also called Påske (Danish) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week", which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the Sun; rather, its date is offset from the date of Passover and is therefore calculated based on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March. Even if calculated on the basis of the more accurate Gregorian calendar, the date of that full moon sometimes differs from that of the astronomical first full moon after the March equinox.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.
Here's What You Need to Know About Danish Easter Traditions
Danish traditions, Easter Eggs | © andreas160578 / Pixabay
Easter is celebrated in different ways in countries all over the globe and so, Denmark has its own traditions. If you’re visiting the country this time of the year and want to be prepared or just want to get an idea of what Danes love to do when celebrating Easter, this guide has everything you need. Gækkebreve, a lot of food, snaps and chocolate eggs are some of the things that are never absent from the Danish Easter.
During Easter, Danes celebrate mostly the arrival of springtime and with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday being national holidays, they find Easter as a good opportunity for a short escape to their summer houses. It’s not very common for Danes to attend church during Easter and there aren’t any special religious events taking place during the holy week. So, don’t expect to see grandiose celebrations like the ones during Semana Santa in Seville or processions like Epitaphio that takes place in Greece on Good Friday.
Danish countryside in spring | © Per Ganrot / Flickr
The weeks before Easter every child in Denmark that wants to get an extra Easter chocolate egg writes and sends gækkebrev. The senders of gækkebrevemust write a ‘teaser poem’ on a paper and then sign it with a number of dots equal to their names’ letters. Children are called to use their imagination and cut the paper into different shapes, include a snowdrop (vintergække), which is the first flower of the year, and make sure that their poem rhymes. If the recipient of the letter guesses who sent him the gækkebrev then the sender must give him an Easter chocolate egg and if not, then the other way around. Since usually the senders are children and the recipients are adults, it’s an unwritten rule and almost part of the tradition that the receivers never manage to guess the person behind the ‘fool’s letter’.
Danish Easter tradition,Gækkebreve | © Nillerdk / Wikimedia Commons
Eggs are part of Easter traditions in many countries and Denmark is no exception. Many houses are decorated with fake yellow or green eggs while chocolate eggs and boiled chicken’s eggs dyed in different colours never miss from the Easter lunch table. Many Danes hide chocolate eggs in their gardens for children to find on Easter Sunday, keeping a tradition that dates back to the early 2oth century alive.
Tivoli Easter Eggs Decoration | © David Jones / Flickr
Celebrating without a big table filled with delicacies, beer and snaps it’s not a proper celebration for Danes regardless the time of the year. For the Sunday Easter lunch, locals prepare lamb, boiled eggs, herring and other kinds of fish such as salmon. The special Easter beer, which is brewed only this time of the year, is, according to beer specialists, heavier and tastier than common beers so it’s a must to have it on the festive table. Finally, even though Easter lunch starts from early afternoon, all guests have to drink at least one traditional Danish snap. The high-levelled alcohol spirits must be drunk in one gulp after everyone has raised their glasses, yelling, “Skål” and Easter wishes.
Danish Easter lunch | © Andreas Hagerman / Flickr
SAVE THE DATES - 2022 REBILD USA SPRING CONFERENCE
Rebild USA will return to the annual spring conference schedule in 2022. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Schaumburg, IL (Chicago area).
Here is the tentative schedule:
Wednesday April 27 - Arrivals and Welcome Reception
Thursday April 28 - Meetings of Chapter Presidents and National Board
Friday April 29 - Combined Chapter Presidents and National Board meeting
Saturday April 30 - General Membership meeting and Gala Dinner event
Sunday May 1 - Departures
For more information Contact:
Rebild USA National Secretary Linda Steffensen - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebild USA National Vice President Bruce Bro - email@example.com
LIGHT A CANDLE IN YOUR WINDOW FOR DENMARK LIBERATION DAY
4 May 1945 was the day when the Danes got the message on the radio about the liberation of Denmark from Germany during Second World War, after the German occupation since 9 April 1940. This meant that the Danes no longer had to use heavy black curtains to keep the light from getting out of their houses. People flocked into the streets, waving the Danish flag “Dannebro” and burned their black curtains. Many lighted candles on their windows.
June 1944 Invasion Issue of Danish Resistance publication "De Frie Danske" titled 'The Free Danes Welcome our Allied Friends' with a four colored front page photo of one US and one British rifleman each in front of their national flags...
De Frie Danske
Therefore, if you see candles on the windows in the evening of 4 May, it is because Danes celebrate and commemorate this day.
The message about the Danish liberation went out on 4 May, but the official liberation day is 5 May. It is celebrated with flags in flagpoles and on top of the busses.
On May 5, Denmark celebrates Liberation Day. It is the anniversary of the end of the occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany. Liberation Day is not a public holiday, but special events are held on the occasion.
Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany on April 9, 1940. The country capitulated withing six hours. As Denmark did not put up much resistance, its occupation was unusually lenient. For example, most institutions functioned relatively normally until 1943. Both the king and government remained in the country.
However, German authorities eventually did dissolve the government after the August 1943 crisis. Mass arrests began. By the end of the war, Danish resistance movement developed. When German authorities ordered to arrest and deport Danish Jews, members of the resistance evacuated almost all Jews to Sweden.
The German forces withdrew from Denmark on May 5, 1945 following their surrender to the Allies. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Liberation Day. On the day, public ceremonies are held in memory of the fallen members of the Danish resistance movement. Left-wing organizations sometimes hold demonstrations to remember the communist resistance fighters.
May 1945 Video
This movie reel shows scenes from Copenhagen in the days following the liberation of Denmark in May 1945. Accord to the National Museum of Denmark, this film was recorded between May 5 1945 and May 12 1945. Among other scenes, the following is shown (according to the National Museum of Denmark): Unrest at Dagmarhus guarded by German soldiers (May 5), resistance fighters behind cover during combat at the harbor, british troops’ arrival through Vesterbrogade (May 8), and Field Marshall Montgomery at Langelinie (May 12).
GRUNDLOVSDAG (CONSTITUTION DAY)
The throne of Denmark was established in the tenth century and is the oldest in Europe and third oldest in the world. Through to the seventeenth century, the majority of decisions in Danish rule came through the monarchy and each monarch was obliged to sign the Haandfæstning wherein he promised to rule fairly.
In 1660, Denmark became a constitutional monarchy, effectively removed the monarchy from absolute power and putting decision making into the hands of the leaders of government. From this time, aside from the royal power of the king, three types of powers existed in Denmark: legislative, executive and judicial.
Including the signing of the first constitution, five constitutions have been written and signed: 1849, 1866, 1915, 1920 and 1953. None of these had amendments but each was superseded by the one following. On 5 June 1915, women received the right to vote.
Many places hold festivals on Constitution Day and there are often political rallies. Students, graduates, bands and organisations march in parades behind the bright red and white of the Danish flag. The flag also dominates many buildings across the country.
More Information (In Danish)
SANKT HANS AFTEN (MIDSUMMER'S EVE)
A Nordic tradition, celebrated on the night before the Midsummer's Day, Midsummer's Eve or Sankt Hans Aften is a relic of pagan customs, where the shortest day, the winter solstice, and the longest day, the summer solstice, were celebrated. Originally it was believed that midsummer night was filled with magical forces of nature—both bad and good. All herbs and sources were particularly sacred, and it was a tradition to seek sacred springs or picking healing herbs on this night.
Image: Midsummer Eve Bonfire on Skagen Beach (Danish: Sankt Hansblus på Skagen strand) a 1906 painting by P.S. Krøyer
More Info on this famous Krøyer work
The tradition of burning bonfires came later. Originally they were not associated with Midsummer's Eve celebration, although later some farmers who believed in witches started burning bonfires on this night. A shape that looks like a witch was put in the fire. The purpose of the fire was to scare the witches and evil spirits away, rather than burning them.
Today the Midsummer's Eve is still celebrated with bonfires, dancing, singing and a traditional speech from someone well known in the community. The celebrations are held all around the country, both in cities and small towns.
Some of the most vibrant celebrations take place in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, and Skagen. The capital has bonfires at several places, including Tivoli Gardens, Frederiksberg Gardens, Islands Brygge, and more. Likewise, Aarhus offers quite a few locations to celebrate, such as Aarhus University campus, Godsbanen, or Langenæs Church. In Odense, the festivities take place at Engen in the Fruens Bøge forest. At last, the remote Skagen promises an exceptional celebration. Thousands come to the northern tip of Denmark to enjoy traditional songs at the bonfire that lasts here longer than anywhere else in the country.
Burning the witches in Denmark
The height of Danish summer is celebrated on the evening of June 23 under the name Sankt Hans (Saint Hans), who is known in English as John the Baptist. The festival of Sankt Hans and the celebration of the summer solstice have pagan roots and date back to the days before Christianity came to Denmark.
Sankt Hans is generally celebrated with a dinner at home with family and friends followed by a stroll to a community bonfire, often by the beach or on the shore of one of Denmark's many lakes.
Tradition calls for an effigy of a witch to be placed on top of the bonfire, and as it burns the community sings the song "Midsommervisen", written by the Danish poet Holger Drachmann in 1885. The effigy of the witch symbolises all the misery that Denmark as a nation wants to avoid, and the song celebrates the hope that peace will prevail.
Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”
Vi elsker vor land,
når den signede jul
tænder stjernen i træet med glans i hvert øje.
Når om våren hver fugl,
over mark, under strand,
lader stemmen til hilsende triller sig bøje:
Vi synger din lov over vej, over gade,
vi kranser dit navn, når vor høst er i lade,
men den skønneste krans,
bli'r dog din Sankte Hans!
Den er bunden af sommerens hjerter,
så varme så glade.
Vi elsker vort land,
men ved midsommer mest,
når hver sky over marken velsignelsen sender,
når af blomster er flest,
og når kvæget i spand
giver rigeligst gave til flittige hænder;
når ikke vi pløjer og harver og tromler,
når koen sin middag i kløveren gumler,
da går ungdom til dans
på dit bud Sankte Hans
ret som føllet og lammet, der frit
over engen sig tumler.
Vi elsker vort land,
og med sværdet i hånd
skal hver udenvælts fjende beredte os kende,
men mod ufredens ånd
under mark over strand,
vil vi bålet på fædrenes gravhøje tænde
hver by har sin heks,
og hver sogn sine trolde.
Dem vil vi fra livet med glædesblus holde
vi vil fred her til lands
Sankte Hans, Sankte Hans!
Den kan vindes, hvor hjerterne
aldrig bli'r tvivlende kolde.
Vi Elsker Vort Land/"We Love Our Country"
We love our country
when the blessed Christmas
light up the star in the tree with a twinkle in each eye
When in spring each bird
over the field, down by the beach
lets its voice give into greeting trills:
We sing your law across the road, across the street,
we wreath your name, when our harvest is in the barn,
but the most beautiful wreath
becomes yours, Saint Hans
It is bound by the the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy
but the most beautiful wreath
becomes yours, Saint Hans
It is bound by the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy
We love our country
but mostly around midsummer
when every cloud sends the blessing across the field
When most flowers are here
and when the cattle drag the plough
gives plenty of gifts to laborious hands;
when we don't plough and harrow and roll,
when the cow munch its dinner of clover:
At that time youth will start to dance
at your command Saint Hans!
Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow
At that time youth will start to dance
at your command Saint Hans!
Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow
We love our country
and with the sword in our hands
every foreign enemy shall prepared know us
But against the spirit of strife
over the field, down by the beach
we will light the bonfire on the forefathers' burial mounds:
Every town has its witch, and every parish its trolls,
we will keep those from our lives with fires of happiness
We want peace in this country,
saint Hans, saint Hans!
It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold
We want peace in this country,
saint Hans, saint Hans!
It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold
We love our country
and we greet that king
who has tried and chosen the right princess:
In his fairy tale castle
every woman, every man can
find an example of love for life!
Let the times grow old, let the colors fade,
we will however draw a memory in our hearts:
From the North so rich in legends
a glory goes across the world
It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows,
From the North so rich in legends
a glory goes across the world
It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows!
REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK
Celebration of Danish American Friendship Since 1912
The Annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark
Live Stream Recording from 2021
Tenative Schedule for 2022
July 2 - Danish American Club Aalborg - Garden Party Picnic Aalborg Defense & Garrison Museum 10.00-12.00
Afternoon Gathering - Western House next to Top Karins Hus in Rebild - 13.30-16.00
July 3 - Gala Dinner at Hotel Comwell Hvide Hus Aalborg followed by fireworks - 19.00-24.00
July 4 - Tent Luncheon - 12.00-14.00
Celebration in the Rebild Hills 15.00-17.00
July 5 - General Membership Meeting 10.00-11.30
Luncheon at Rebild Hotel Comwell
National Board Meeting 13.00-15.00
The New Rebild Website
We are a Danish-American Friendship organization,
playing an important part in these areas:
Unique 4th of July Festival in Denmark with Royalty and dignitaries from both countries
Preservation of Danish culture and heritage in USA
Assistance to Danish newcomers with acclimatization and business networking
Help and insight into Danish thinking for Americans doing business with Denmark
Friend-shipping and socializing
Study abroad scholarships to Denmark
Professional full color news magazine two times a year plus Rebild E-News.
Annual Conference (each year in a different state in the US)
Ties of Friendship
It all began more than one hundred years ago in America. A gathering of Danish-Americans came up with a vision ofa special place in Denmark where they could gather once a year to meet with relatives and friends. And symbolically, as a statement conﬁrming that those who had left would not forget where they had come from. Emigration began gradually in the economically difﬁcult years following the Napoleon Wars, when the country was going bankrupt and having lost Norway. it is estimated that as many as 300,000 Danes emigrated in the years up to the First World War. Exact numbers are not possible because, after 1864, Danes from Southern Iylland were registered as German emigrants.
Their incentive to leave was the dream of ﬁnding freedom and a better life. They especially sought out the northern states in the USA, as did other emigrants from the Scandinavian countries, because the climate and land reminded them of what they had left behind. It had an especial attraction for farmers. The western part of the country offered free land, with the provision they would fence the property, cultivate the land, and by the end ofthe ﬁrst year, have erected a house with a door and window. Normally only the door and windows that were made of wood, the rest of the house was made of sod! It was hard work but worth the effort. For most, it was a good decision.
But the emigrants never forgot their homeland and early in the twentieth century they purchased land in the old country. In the beginning they ﬂocked to outdoor meetings near Himmelbjeret, as recorded by Ieppe Aakjaer on “Ienle” and Johan Skjoldborg on "Dynaes." These large outdoor gatherings are a popular tradition we have perpetuated through the years. Most of the emigrants had Iyske roots and it was instinctive for them to seek to meet here. The man with the most initiative was Max Henius from Aalborg, and the land eventually selected was the beautiful hilly heather covered ground in the outskirts of Forest of Rold — Rebild Bakker.
There were more than 10,000 participants at the ﬁrst Rebild Festival in 1912, and it was estimated that more than 1,000 came from America. Viewed through today's eyes it was impressive. It was expensive and difficult to travel so far — across America by land and the Atlantic Ocean by boat. The King Christian the 10th participated with Queen Alexandrine and accepted the deed for 140 tender land (equal to approximately 1,363 acres) with the requirement: “... that every year on July 4th, America's Independence Day, a "Rebild Festival" would be held in the Hills." Throughout the intervening years the Royal Family have been active in the Festival. We are happy and thankful for that.
We have been told that the 4th of July celebration in Denmark is the largest outside the USA. We are proud of that. It’s a wonderful tradition that has continued over the past 100 years. It is a testament to the unbreakable friendship that exists between our two nations who share a common appreciation for freedom and democracy. We stand together!
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