Christmas in Denmark: New Year’s Eve and Epiphany
Holiday merrymaking continues on New Year’s Eve. Many Danes go to parties on New Year’s Eve or entertain guests at home. In the early part of the evening the Queen makes her annual New Year’s speech to the nation. Many Danes tune in for this annual event. The Danes play practical jokes on one another for New Year’s Eve. Wise people pull their belongings into the house. If not, the next morning they might find their bicycle on someone’s rooftop or their garden tools gone missing. Noisemaking is another old New Year’s Eve custom. In the old days farmers shot off guns to usher in the new year (see also shooting in Christmas).
Nowadays, most Danes have found safer ways to raise a din on the last evening of the year. In Copenhagen, people gather together at the town square on New Year’s Eve to sing and to listen to the city hall clock ring in the new year. Danes also celebrate the new year with fireworks.
The Christmas season ends on Twelfth Night, or Epiphany Eve. Remaining Christmas trees are taken down on this day and ornaments stored for the next year. Some families light three candles on Epiphany Eve, which stand for the three Wise Men, or Magi, who visited the baby Jesus.