3 tips to survive a Danish summer

Whether it is the extra ordinary long hours of daylight or simply the relief of seeing the little ball of yellow in the sky after a long and dark winter, summer can be a crazy time in Denmark.

We moved to Denmark at the end of the New Zealand summer and I wrongly assumed that BBB and I would be ‘match ready’ to roll with another summer. We weren’t.  At least not for a Danish summer.    So we’ve been fast learning the new customs and rituals.

Below is our top 3 tips for surviving a summer in Denmark.

1.       Get naked
When the sun comes out in Denmark the clothes come off.  Right off.  Although the Danes have been trying to tell me the topless women and sometimes naked men I see in the parks are German.  This theory is yet to be proven.

So when the sun comes out we’ve had to become a little more careful in navigating our way through parks to minimise BBB’s milk bar attraction.  However the group of young men playing naked football in central Copenhagen last week were a little more difficult to miss as we drove by.  Thankfully my dropped jaw did not fall on the accelerator.  The Dane tells me it was most likely a Stag party and unless someone complained it was ‘ok’ they were naked.  Okay dokey. Probably Germans. Next.

2.       Buy a blindfold

The number of hours of daylight in Denmark is insane at the moment with the longest day of the year to occur on the 21st of June.  On this day we shall be blessed with 17 hours 32 minutes 11 seconds of daylight.  It never truly gets dark. This is not the country to live in if you are observing Ramadan.  So if you’re like me and are used to having pure darkness at least sometime during a 24 hour period then you will need to go buy yourself a blindfold/eye mask.  As an added bonus I recommend getting one with sunglasses printed on it to provide hours of entertainment freaking out your partner when talking to them when wearing it.

3.       Burn a witch

I’ve been waiting for this one for years.  The Dane has long been telling me stories of how the Danes burn all the witches on the longest day of the year and send them back to Germany.  Just brilliant. 

‘Sankt Hans’ as the day is known, is observed on the 23rd of June.  Bonfires are lit, speeches are made and songs are sung.  My anticipation for experiencing my first Sankt Hans is almost as high as my pre Eurovision fever.  I’ll be sharing my first Sankt Hans experience on my next blog.  Before then I’ll be busy hiding my broomstick. 


To the Danes – any other rituals that BBB & I should know about?

For the Kiwis & other international readers – here’s a recipe to try.

Koldskål (a Danish summer dessert)

1 egg
60 grams sugar
1 litre of Buttermilk

Whisk egg and sugar together.  When sugar is dissolved then whisk in buttermilk.  Serve in bowls with strawberries (or other fruit.  Bananas works well) and crunchy biscuits.  Perhaps broken up Wine Biscuits might do the trick.  Or toasted rolled oats.

It’s a kind of cold summer soup.  Enjoy!  It is sold pre made in Denmark and supermarkets usually sell out on a hot day.

Click 'like' below if you'd rather be experiencing a Danish summer than a New Zealand winter right now! (see what we did there?)