Julefrokost: A Danish Christmas Celebration

Christmas is coming with the most exciting and long-awaited celebration of the year: Julefrokost. If you live in Denmark or know about Danish culture, I think you may once hear about this party. 

How to celebrate Julefrokost? Read here to find out!

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What is Julefrokost?

Julefrokost plays a vital part in Danish tradition.

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

This party can be between family members or generally a group of people (friends, colleagues, members 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 dinner as well.

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Before Julefrokost

So, what do people do to prepare for this party?

The participants will prepare some gifts, and the host will prepare delicious food and drinks for the participants.

You can enjoy lots of traditional Danish food at this party.

Dress code in Julefrokost

At the party, people usually dress up and wear formal clothes.

For example, men typically wear suits, while women wear beautiful dresses. Some people will dress up as Santa Claus too.

The dress code is also upon the host’s rule, so check it before coming to the party.

What do people do in Julefrokost?

1. Eat

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

I don’t know how to prepare for the party, but I found a well-written post for this. You can check here to see how is a proper Danish Julefrokost.

celebrating Julefrokost Denmark

It’s Julefrokost, and it’s time to get fat! Stay strong and eat for the whole night :) 

2. Drink

The participants may be asked to bring their drinks and drinks for the others. You can bring beers, cocktails, beverages, or whatever you want.

Drinking in Julefrokost in Denmark

The most important drink in Julefrokost is Snaps. Snaps is a small shot of liquor, and people drink it during eating, and it contains around 32% ~ 40% alcohol.

-> Read more about snaps at Wikipedia

In my opinion, snaps taste like a combination of water, apple juice, and vodka. It tastes pretty weird, I think.

Drinking snaps in Julefrokost in Denmark

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

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

My friends say that many Danes don’t like snaps, but they still drink them because it is an integral part of Danish culture.

3. Sing

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 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 whole song. However, each time you drink snaps, you sing one version of the 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, skål!!!!

4. Talk

Julefrokost is also a time for everyone to gather together and share their stories. It’s time for reflection, so people usually look back and share their achievements and what they have done this year.

If you celebrate with your company, it’s a great time to know more about your colleagues and build a good relationship.

5. Dance

Yes!

Like other parties, Julefrokost cannot miss a dance floor.

At the parties that I attended, people used the living room as a dance floor, and someone got to be a DJ while others danced. It was entertaining!

6. Game

You can play some games at the party as well. It can be a drinking game such as beer pong or gift game such as PAKKELEG – the most popular game in Julefrokost.

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

Each person brings a small gift, and all contributions 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 roll a dice and get other people’s gift if you can roll a 6.
Present in Julefrokost

After a while, everybody opens their gifts. Some people will have no present, while some may have more than one. 

7. Smoke (Optional)

Many Danes smoke, and they usually go out and smoke regularly. You can meet and see most of the people at the party outside. 

What happens at Julefrokost stays at the Julefrokost

In Julefrokost, mainly after midnight, people get pretty wild.

They may do crazy things and behave strangely. Everyone knows that, and no one will blame you if you do something strange that night.

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 hangovers the 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!

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Christmas is coming with the most exciting and long-awaited celebration of the year: Julefrokost! Julefrokost is a Danish Christmas Celebration. Click here to read more! #Christmas #Dinner #Denmark #Culture

Disclaimer: Please note that this article was written based on my experience participating in Julefrokost. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy this party. 

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36 Comments

  1. This is fantastic! So interesting to learn about holidays in other countries. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I had never heard of this! But it sounds fun! Just like a xmas party really!

  3. How fun! That looks like something I would enjoy! It’s always nice to experience another countrys’ holidays and see what they’re all about!

  4. Jessica Carpenter says:

    This is so interesting to learn about! I’ve never heard of this celebration before. Sounds like a blast, and I wish we had the same celebration in the US.

  5. Christmas can be so nice in Denmark! I went there in December a few years back and really enjoyed the festive atmosphere:) Interesting insight into the culture, I really enjoyed reading this!

  6. That looks really interesting! I love how different countries have various Christmas traditions, and it’s great to explore them!

  7. I love Christmas so it was interesting reading about Christmas in a different place! We have just moved to the other side of the world and very intrigued to see what Christmas in China is like!

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