celebrating Julefrokost Denmark

Guide to Julefrokost – A Danish Christmas Celebration

Christmas Edition

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!

best things to do in Copenhagen Denmark

 

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 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 dinner as well.

 

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

In 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 up on the host’s rule, so check it before you come 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 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 also drinks for the others. You can bring beers, cocktails, beverages, or whatever you want to.

Drinking in Julefrokost in Denmark

The most important drinks 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 tastes like a combination of water, apple juice, and vodka. It tastes quite 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 everyone will drink snaps.”

My friends say that many Danes don’t like snaps, but they still drink it 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 full 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 achievement and 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!

Like other parties, Julefrokost cannot miss a dance floor.

In 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 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 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 gift 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 a 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 hangover 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!

 

Read related

Thank you for reading Julefrokost in Denmark

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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 Julefrokost. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy this party. 

  1. I love learning about holidays around the world, and you did a fantastic job describing Julefrokost to an American who knows nothing about this tradition! I’ve always enjoyed my time in Denmark, and the food and drinks associated with this holiday look amazing!

  2. I love Christmas just for reading about these kind of traditions! I’ve never celebrated Christmas in Denmark, but it looks and sounds like so much fun! I’ll take your advice and go easy on the snaps, I’d like to make the most of my experience!

  3. What a fun celebratory tradition! I’ve actually never heard of this before, but I’m so glad that I now know. The only time I was actually in Denmark was during the summer, so I wasn’t able to experience this tradition. Bummer that you didn’t get a gift during the game!

    1. Unfortunately I didn’t have any gift, but the game was really fun as well. You should return to Denmark during winter time. It’s great!

  4. I like your tip on not going out the previous night ;) to gear up for the important day! I had no idea about Julefrokost till I read it here. Looks like such a festivity. I really want to eat all that delicious food now and celebrate it with family. Cheers!!

  5. I’ve been to parties in Denmark before but never an actual Julefrokost. I’ve never tried or heard of Danish snaps before, it sounds strong! I will have to visit my friend again around christmas time, this sounds like a super fun night!

  6. Wow! Julefrokost seems like a lot of fun with dancing, eating and partying all night. It’s great to know about various festivals celebrated in different parts of the world. The food looks sumptuous. I would love to try Danish food and snap. Love this post. Thanks for sharing! :)

  7. Festive season is round the corner and we can feel the smell of it everywhere. Participating in Julefrokost festivities is fun. Playing games, singing special hap hap songs is really entertaining. Having Danish food must be awesome. Great tips on Julefrokost.

  8. Eating, drinking, dancing, playing games… how fun! Julefrokost sounds like the perfect pre-Christmas party with friends! I would love to experience this tradition if I get a chance!

  9. This is so neat! I love how seriously the Danish take their celebrating, especially around Christmastime. I just went to Copenhagen for the first time this year and can’t wait to go back some day!

  10. I am obsessed with Scandiavian traditions and I can’t wait to go on a Swedish Julbord. I just love that food and all the traditions that revolve around it. One thing I have’t yet tried is the crayfish party, maybe next August will be my chance?

  11. It’s so interesting to hear how other cultures celebrate Christmas. I’m curious what dishes you had at your party. Was there lots of fish? I’m guessing that the Scandinavians eat fish a lot!

  12. I’ve never heard of this tradition – it sounds like fun! I enjoy hearing about festive traditions and celebrations in other countries :)

  13. Aww what a cute post! I’d love to be invited to one of these events, they sound so much fun. Not sure I can handle snaps in my old age though :)

  14. Oooh never heard of this before? I’d love to visit Denmark, but maybe not in winter! Too cold! Thanks for sharing – love the pictures!

  15. My best friend in high school was half-Danish, and I spent a number of Julefrokost’s at her house…loved reading all about it again, brought back some lovely memories.

  16. How do I get myself invited somewhere to a Julefrokost celebration?! I’m not into smoking but pretty dresses, snaps, food and dancing are right up my street! Beautiful post Ha :)

  17. Love how you spread the holiday spirit. Tis’ the season to be jolly! :) Such an interesting read. Looks like this is an experience totally worth partying at! Everything the food, the dances, the games sound so fun!

  18. So interesting, I love hearing how people around the world celebrate the festive period – sounds like the Danes are good fun!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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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