Christmas in Denmark: Christmas Symbols and Decorations
As Christmas draws near, Danish people adorn both their homes and the city streets with a variety of Christmas symbols and decorations. The most popular Christmas symbol in Denmark is the red heart. It represents the love that infuses Danish Christmas celebrations. The Danish flag is another popular Christmas image. The flag displays a white cross on a red background. Red and white serve as Denmark’s Christmas colors. One often sees the popular Christmas heart woven out of strips of red and white paper. Moreover, many Danes light up the dark December afternoons and evenings with flickering red and white Christmas candles. Danes also fashion many Christmas decorations from greenery, especially mistletoe and holly, which is called Kristdorn, or "Christ thorn.”
The nisse or Julnisse is another popular Christmas image (see also Christmas Lads; Jultomten). According to Danish folklore, the nisser are small, elf-like creatures who live in dark, quiet corners of homes and barns. They possess certain magical powers, which they can use to create annoying household mishaps. Around Christmas time the Julnisser, or "Christmas” nisser, become active. Householders must appease them with a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve or they will pull pranks on family members.