Why Julefrokost is the best Danish celebration of the year

Christmas is coming with the most exciting and long-awaited celebration of the year: Julefrokost! If you live in Denmark, I guess you may once hear about it. Check this article and get ready for your Julefrokost!

What is Julefrokost?

Julefrokost is a really important Danish tradition. Every December before Christmas, people gather together and celebrate an annual Julefrokost – a Danish Christmas lunch.

Julefrokost can be between family members, or just generally a group of people (friends, colleagues, the member of clubs).

In Danish, Jule means Christmas, and Frokost means lunch. However, the time of the party may depend on the host, and usually, it starts late in the evening, around 5 pm. It can be considered as a dinner.


Before Julefrokost

Usually, people will buy gifts to prepare for the Julefrokost. And surely the host will prepare delicious food and drinks for the participants.


Dress code

In the party, the participants usually dress up and wear formal clothes. Men usually wear suits, while women wear beautiful dresses. Some people will dress up as Santa Claus too. The dress code is also up on the host’s rule.


What do they do in Julefrokost?


Julefrokost is a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas, so of course, there are a lot of Danish traditional food. You will eat for hours and much more than you usually do.

You can check here to see how is a proper Danish Julefrokost.

It’s Julefrokost and it’s time to get fat! So stay strong and eat for the whole night! 


2. Drink

The participants may be asked to bring their own drinks and also drinks for others. It can include beers, cocktails, beverages, or whatever you want to bring.

The most important drinks in Julefrokost is snaps.

Snaps is a small shot of drink and people drink it during eating. It’s 32% ~ 40% alcohol. You can read more at Wikipedia

In my perception, snaps tastes like a combination between water, apple juice, and vodka.

“Everyone doesn’t like it but they still drink it”

“It doesn’t taste good, but it’s the tradition so everyone will drink snaps.”

Many Danes do not like snaps, but they still drink it because it is an important part of Danish culture.

This is what a Julefrokost meal looks like

3. Sing

When they drink snaps, they will sing snaps song. The name of the song is “Haps haps haps”

You can check out the song here!


4. Talk

Julefrokost is also a time for everyone to gather and talk. People usually look back and talk about what they have done during this year. If you celebrate with your company, it’s a great time to get to know more about your colleagues and build a good relationship.


5. Dance

Yes! As other parties, Julefrokost cannot miss a dance floor.


6. Game

There are some games in the party. It might be drinking game such as beer pong.

However, the most and common game in Julefrokost is PAKKELEG, which is a gift game.

Rules: It can depend on each party but generally it follows

Each person brings a small gift and all gifts are placed in the middle of the table.

1st round: Everyone takes turns in rolling the dice and when you roll a 6, you can choose a gift until all gifts have been taken.

2nd round: You rolls a dice and can take other people’s gift if you can roll a 6.

After a period of time, everybody opens their gifts. Some people will have no gift while some may have more than one. In my case, I, unfortunately, didn’t receive any…


7. Smoke

Many Danes smoke. They usually go out and smoke regularly. It can be the place that you can meet and see most of the people in the party.


What happens at a Julefrokost, stays at the Julefrokost

In Julefrokost, especially after midnight, people will get pretty wide. They might do crazy things and behave strangely. Everyone knows that and no one will blame you if you do something strange that night.

Don’t worry, on Monday people will back to the same 😉


5 best tips for Julefrokost!

  • Don’t go out the night before. You need to get ready for the big day.
  • You should drink water because it helps reducing hangover next day!
  • Don’t drink too many snaps if you don’t want to be too drunk
  • Eat more than you do and drink more than you do
  • Enjoy yourself and be a bit crazy because it’s Julefrokost!


Just accept all the Julefrokost invitations and enjoy the best party of the year!

You can enjoy the most of the Danish culture with it 😉

Skål !!!

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Goodbye Vietnam…. and Hello Japan

It’s time to say goodbye to my sweet summer vacation in Vietnam and officially finished my exchange period in Denmark. I’m on the way to go back to Japan to continue my 4th year Bachelor at my home university. It has been a great year traveling around Europe and my home country – Vietnam. I will miss everything a lot for sure, but now it’s time to have a new experience! Besides studying, I will travel around many cities in Japan and learn more exotic cultures. Am I ready for it? 🤔


What have I prepared?

There are tons of things to prepare, but luckily I have planned things ahead and met my deadline. I have finished choosing my courses, bought necessary stuff for my trip to Japan. Also, I already have a new place to live, thanks to the help of my friend Youko (Yay!) It will be so difficult for me if I just start to look for a place after I get there, and have to buy lots of things for new places as well.

What will challenge me?

  1. Culture shock

The first thing I need to deal with is Culture shock. I will suffer from culture shock again, although I’ve already lived in Japan for 2 years. It’s difficult when you move around the world. Moving from Denmark to Japan is totally different, and having 2.5 months living in Vietnam in between won’t make things better. I will go all the procedures of culture shock again, feeling good and bad all again. The good news is that know how to deal with culture shock now, after moving around different countries and traveling intensively.


2. Japanese

Well, it’s kinda a nightmare to me! Probably I have already forgotten everything that I learned. I didn’t practice Japanese for 1 year, so my vocabulary, grammar and especially Kanji already said goodbye to me. Shame on me, huh? I finished the Pre Advance Japanese level before going to Denmark, and now I barely know basic words. So, I will need to learn everything again. I still love to travel around Japan and knowing Japanese is way better.

Back to old-time days with learning Japanese!

3. The Learning

Studying as an exchange student and a “real student” is totally different. All I needed was passing the courses and now I will need to do my best to get A+… Yep, things change if you are craved for high GPA.

4.My travel

Because it’s my 4th year, I need to focus more on my study and bachelor thesis. Does it mean I will stop traveling? Nope, not really. Since I live in a beautiful city, Beppu, which has everything such as mountains, hills, sea, and amazing hot springs, I still can enjoy my weekend by exploring the city and the surrounding area. However, I will need to plan things carefully in order not to crash all my schedules.

A beautiful place in Beppu, Oita, Japan

So how will it affect my blog? Any changes?

Guess what? You will see lots of beautiful pictures of Japan on my Instagram stories, and my Facebook page as well. So if you haven’t followed my accounts, don’t hesitate to do it!

Here is one of my recent pictures from my Instagram!


Also, you can expect my expat tips about living and studying in Japan, as well as inspiration and recommendations for traveling around Japan. Oh don’t worry, you will not be drowned with posts about Japan only, I still post about my adventures around the world. There will be tons of posts about my solo trips around Europe and Vietnam, so you won’t be bored. Do you want to be the first to read my post? Sign up for the email and you’re ready!

You can also check out some articles about Japan that I already wrote 🙂

Eat like a local: Top 10 Japanese foods to try!

7 Things you should try in Fukuoka

7 Ways to travel on the budget in Tokyo

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Top 10 most surprising things about Denmark that you should know

I decided to write this post when one of my friend asked me “What surprised you most when you first came here?” As a Vietnamese girl who lived in Japan, Denmark is a whole new world for me. Denmark was the first European country that I visited. Let’s take a look at 10 most surprising things about Denmark in this post. It’s not only useful for those who want know more about this lovely country, but it’s also a good preparation if you have a chance to visit Denmark.

1.Toilet for both genders

If you are in Denmark, you can see a lot of toilets for both genders. Do not get shocked if a guy or girl just comes to the same toilet with you!

I was so surprised at the first time and thought that I came to a wrong toilet. I still remember the feeling when I heard some guys’ voice outside when I was in the toilet, and I was like “No way! How did I go to a wrong one?”, and hesitated to come out ?.

I was really shy and embarrassed, so I actually stayed inside the toilet for a while, waited for them to go out but they were still there (Probably because they still had to go toilets ?). Then I finally came outside, and that I knew that some toilets in Copenhagen are for both genders.


2. Hygge

“What is the most special thing about Denmark that you will show a foreigner?”, I asked my Danish friend.

“Hygge”, he answered.

I heard that hygge is one way that helps the Danes survive from the cold winter, and I think it may be true!

So what is Hygge? Hygge is a very special activity in Denmark. It can be defined as having good time with good people. If you walk around Copenhagen in the evening, you can see lots of people sitting together, having a cup of coffee or having a meal, with a small candle in between. As I heard,  too many candles for hygge caused health problems in Denmark 🙁 

Also, I was shocked when I heard that  it was common for Danes to leave their babies to nap in a stroller outside when moms “hygge” inside. OMG! How is it possible ?? How can they leave the babies outside, even when it’s really cold and windy ??

I once asked my Danish friend about it, and he said “It’s really safe to do that, because they calculate the wind direction, and the baby will cry if bad things happens. Also, no one kidnaps children here. It costs a lot to raise a child”. It’s totally different from other countries that I’ve been to.


3. VAT

Denmark is one of the countries has highest tax in the world. The standard VAT in Denmark, or called as Danish VAT “MOMS” is 25%. Therefore, everything in Denmark is expensive compared to other countries. In my first day in Copenhagen, I was shocked when buying a small bottle of Coca Cola with 20 kr. It is more expensive if you buy it in Seven Eleven or Fotex, compared to Netto and Fakta.


4. Super windy

I think the thing that I hate most in Denmark is the weather :/ It is way too windy. Sometimes I cannot even ride my bicycle because of the strong wind.


5. Flat country

Denmark is a flat country. As I read, its average height is above the sea of 31 metres. The article also said that the highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 metres. You cannot see any mountain in Denmark, only small hills. So, it is the best place for cycling, isn’t it?


6. Bicycles, bicycles and bicycles

Because of the geography, Denmark is a perfect place for cycling. If you come to Copenhagen, you can see people bike everywhere. Danes love biking in every type of weather, even it’s rainy, windy or snowy. In Copenhagen, there are lines for bicycle only, and also traffic lights for bicycle. Bicycle thefts are very common in Copenhagen as well. So watch out!

Copenhagen after a rain

7. Drinking culture

It’s very normal to see people walking with a beer or many beers on the street in Denmark. You can see people drinking on the street, public transportation, and public places. It is legal to buy alcohol everywhere too. There are many drunk people in the weekend in Copenhagen.

You can read about Danish drinking culture at Julefrokost here


8. Smoking

Another surprise thing to me is that many Danes smoke. You can see a lot of people smoking in the parties, bars and clubs. They will go out for some times and then come back inside. I was once the only one left inside the house because other people were smoking outside.


9. Apartments in the inner city

a) Same floors

The apartments inner the city of Copenhagen have same number of floors which are 3 or 4. The designs are also a bit similar as well. It seems to me that those apartments just have different colors, and different window styles. I was lost at first days when I just came, because I couldn’t find my way within similar apartments.

b) No curtain

I was surprised to know that some apartments do not have curtains on the windows :o! “How can they keep privacy then?” – I still wonder this until now… luckily my place has curtains already 😀

c) Only stairs

Also, most of the apartments only have stairs. 2 places that I lived, none of them has elevator. I visit some of my friends’ houses and there are only stairs too. However, it’s a good chance to practice and improve your health, isn’t it?


10. Health care system

You can get an assigned doctor when you have a CPR number in Denmark. When you change your place, you have a choice to choose your own doctor. Also, health check up is free. Feeling unwell? Just call your doctor and book an appointment. Unfortunately, the medicine price is pretty expensive, and the health care system does not cover your dental cost.

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So these are top 10 surprising things about Denmark to me. How about you? What are the most surprising but interesting things about this lovely country to you?


How to deal with deposit scams in Copenhagen?

Housing scams have become a major issue in big cities, and Copenhagen is not an exception. I will share my experience about deposit scams, which occur after you move out your place.

A little about my story

Last month, while waiting to receive my deposit after more than 1 month moving out, I found out that my former landlord had blocked my Facebook.

1. Shocked

It was the most accurate word to describe what I felt that time. I thought that this could not happen to me because everything seemed really legit.

  • My apartment was checked monthly by the landlord’s parents.
  • I followed all the house rules.
  • I also kept in touch with the landlord until moving out date.
  • The apartment was checked carefully before I handed the key as well.
  • I have the contract and paid my rental fee through bank.

I was like “No way this happens to me!”, “It cannot right?”, “They were nice, weren’t they?”

In my overall impression, Danes are really nice and friendly. Therefore, I could not believe that my deposit was not returned.



2. Freak out

Yes, it was the second stage of my emotion!

As I paid quite a big amount of money for my deposit, I was freaked out that I might lose it!

It may be not that big compared to Danish people, but it’s big for me. I’m an Asian student without SU, which is a 5000 DKK scholarship for EU students. I’m also from a developing country. So yes, I already pay a lot to live in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

I can say that I’m poor 🙁 And yes, I was still cheated.

I kept asking myself  “Why? Why this happens?”, ” Did I do anything wrong?”, “What should I tell my parents?”


3. Feeling lost

I don’t want anyone at home to worry about me, but at that time, I was completely lost.

a) Lost my faith in the society
Worst thing is that I start loosing trust on people, losing good image about Denmark that I had 
Moving from Japan, where I can just put my phone on the table, go and then come back, it is still there, to a country where some people are freaking rich but still be freaking greedy as well, was too much for me!

Hello, culture shock!!!

b) Lost my way

I did not know what to do. I was shocked, freaked out and scared. Also, I don’t understand about Danish law, and my Danish level is very basic. Also, Facebook was the only way to communicate with that landlord. And yes, it was blocked 🙁

So, if one day, you wake up and realize that you may lose your deposit. What will you do?


“Stay strong, Ha”, I told myself.

These are 10 steps to deal with deposit scams.

1. Calm down

It’s the most important step. You cannot deal with anything if you cannot calm down.

You may give a wrong decision or provide wrong information because you’re freaked out. So take a cup of tea, stay away from your computer/ phone/ etc, and give you some time to think clearly.


 2. Search for ways

You can use Google search for solutions. You should choose legit sites as always.


3. Ask people

You can ask your friends first, especially Danish friends. In my case, my friends did not know how to deal with it, so I asked in an Expat group.

I had lots of help and useful instruction from the group Expats in Copenhagen. I’ve really appreciated all the help and I’m glad that I’m a part of that community.


4. Prepare all the necessary documents

  • Read your contract carefully to make sure that you know everything about it.
  • Gather all photos about the accommodation (if you have) before you enter and after you leave the place.
  • Record or save your emails, messages, phone calls. Sometimes you can record some value information which can stand against your landlord.
  • Prepare to tell what happens with your lawyer.


 5. Go to lawyer

a) Københavns Retshjælp

Københavns Retshjælp, or Copenhagen Legal Aid, offers FREE legal advice to all citizens, no matter your nationality, and no matter whether you live in Copenhagen or indeed in Denmark.  However, there are some conditions for receiving free legal advice. You can check here.

Address: Stormgade 20, 1555 København V

Opening time:

  • Monday to Thursday: 18:30 – 21:00
  • Friday: 18:30 – 20:00
  • Weekend: Closed

Email: [email protected]


You can only go there once a week. For example, if you go there on Monday, you will have Monday case. You cannot meet your lawyer on the other days.

Therefore, if you need any help or have new information, send to Københavns Retshjælp by email. Remember to include your CPR number and case number.

In my case, the lawyer sent the landlord an email indicated that he had to pay the money back to me in 10 days, otherwise they would take the next step. Fortunately, I received all my money back 🙂

b) Huslejenævn

If your landlord doesn’t pay money after 10 days, your case will be brought to Huslejenævn.

Huslejenævn, which is a local rent council, will provide advice and help in case of a rent level issue in court.

Note: You will need to pay 305 DKK, so they can start to investigate on your case. Also, because each community will have different Huslejenævn, you will need to contact the Huslejenævn where you sign the House contract. For more information, you can ask Retshjælp.

c) LLO

LLO is a tenant land organization. You can find more information at their page. You will need to pay money to be a member of this Union.

Address: Reventlowsgade 14, 1651 København K
Phone: 33 86 09 10
Mail: [email protected]


6. Be patient and wait

The procedure may take months to receive your money back. Therefore, you should go back to your daily life and wait for the good thing to come.


7. Don’t contact your landlord by yourself if you already came to your lawyer

Let your lawyer do everything.

Don’t let your landlord fool you. They know that you don’t know the law, so they may say fake things and you will think it’s correct. Again, just ask for your lawyer’s help.


8. Believe in yourself

You should believe that you can get your money back. You may feel really tired with all those things and want to give up. But, don’t do that!


9. Learn about law by yourself

In order not to let it happen again, you should understand the basic law of the country you live. It will be really useful. You can also learn much useful information at Borger.dk 


10. Celebrate

This step is only useful if you receive your money back 🙂


  •  Don’t show your landlord’s identity to social media because it will violate the law. You may pay money for it.
  • Don’t contact or answer strangers: Your landlord may use fake accounts or ask friends to contact you to know about your steps or lead you to wrong ways.


What did I learn from my case?

  • Don’t trust landlords too much. They can take advantage of you and steal your money.
  • Take detailed pictures when you move in and when you move out. Remember to take the pictures closely and carefully in every small detail!
  • Bad people are there, but still, lots of good people are trying to help you.
  • Be brave and believe in yourself!

Everything will be okay. Stay strong and you can do it!


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Haps Haps Haps – A Danish Drinking song

Danes love singing while they’re drinking. A great example of it is Snaps song, “Haps Haps Haps”. In Julefrokost, before Danes start to drink snaps, they will sing this drinking song and then say a really long “skål”.


Before you go to Julefrokost, it will be great if you learn this song. Therefore, you can sing together with everyone.

With the help of my Danish friend, this is the full song. However, each time you drink snaps, you just sing one version of the song.


Full song

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Ned med hele molevitten,

til det kriller i banditten.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Når den kommer ned på midten,

Rører den ved duppeditten.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Nu igen ved vintertide

akvavitten ned skal glide.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps!

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Bordet det er højt bedækket

“slank” moralen den er knækket.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps!

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Først er silden så postejen,

siden kommer flæskestegen.

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps!

Haps, haps, haps

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

Maven nu er rund og mættet,

dog bli’r bordet atter dækket.

Haps, haps, haps

igen skal vi ha’ snaps!

Haps, haps, haps,

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.

For det skærper appetitten,

og det krilrer ned på midten.

Haps, haps, haps,

nu skal vi ha’ snaps.


And then a really long skål!!!!

I hope this song can help you in the preparation of Julefrokost. It’s also really fun song to sing and listen to.


You can read more about Copenhagen here

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