The Danish people are known to be surviving some of the longest cold winters as they indulge in simple yet cozy pleasures. However, Christmas is one of the times of the year when in Denmark, the traditions are on the new level. The country is obsessed with hygge and they usually begin their Christmas holidays by counting the days from the Advent days. 

The advent calendar candles are usually lit in all of Denmark. Christmas is a remarkable occasion in Denmark and if you want to spend your time in Scandinavia, then this is the perfect country to visit.

You can incorporate extra hygge traditions in the different parts of Denmark and it will take your Christmas experience to a whole new level.

Christmas customs and traditions in Denmark

There are various Christmas customs and traditions that you can enjoy during your visit to Denmark. Some of the common traditions in the region include the following:

Calendar candles

The calendar candles are some of the most important parts of the Christmas traditions in Denmark. The candles are made from the most exceptional features to make your Christmas more hygge. The calendars are usually printed with different numbers ranging from number 1 through 24 and it is imperative to note that they are usually lit following the numerical order. 

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It is a common tradition that the candles are lit every morning and it allows the people to welcome a new vibe and the good Christmas spirits. These calendars are either prepared by the locals or you can find them in stores around Denmark. 

Christmas Eve in Denmark

On the 24th of December, it is a common practice among the Danish people to enjoy some of the most traditional cuisines.

In most parts of the country, you will find people eating roasted pork, roast goose with caramelized potatoes, red cabbage, and brown gravy.

Risalamande is often the most common dessert. An almond is usually placed inside the dessert, and depending on whoever finds the almond – that person will be the luckiest throughout the year. In addition to this, they are entitled to an extra present during the Christmas festivities.

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In some places you will find that the rice pudding is made with the previous meals and brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter are added to make it exceptional. This pudding is usually eaten with a warm fruit drink.  Once the people have completed the meal, the family members and friends will dance around the yule tree and sing Christmas hymns and hand out Christmas gifts in turn.

Once the people are done opening the Christmas presents, they will have more chips and even traditional glogg during this period.

Church service

It is a common tradition in Denmark that the people should go to a church service on the afternoon of 24th December. In most churches around the country, two services are carried out, on the 25th and 26th of December.

These are some of the most defined rituals in the country. Going to church on Christmas Eve has become a popular thing in Denmark and the services are usually towards midnight when people will wish each other merry Christmas and depart the service.

Christmas calendar television series

The Danish people take Christmas seriously and it is one of the holidays that people look forward to the most. Apart from the calendar candles that are lit from the first of December until Christmas Eve, there is a television series that is often produced during the Advent season. Every year, the Danish television channels have a new Christmas-themed series and it is usually produced as a twenty-four-part episode series.

The television channels broadcast each episode every day until Christmas. It is essential to note that the series is usually rated differently and there are episodes for children and those for adults. Since the Christmas series is available throughout the period, a majority of the Danish people watch at least one episode per day until the Christmas Day.

It is essential to note that a majority of the series are in Danish so unless you get some of which have been translated then it becomes difficult for you to watch. However, it is important to note that there are movies and series that you can find and watch during this period.

Christmas trees in Denmark

Christmas decorations are some of the most common themes that you are going to find during the festive period in Denmark. The Danish people are more natural and traditional and you will find them in their nature with different features such as pine swags, real candle lights, and white twinkle lights.

The country has some fire hazard policies, so they usually use a fresh tree and this is essential because they can decorate the tree with Christmas lights as well as stars. The trees are usually brought on Christmas Eve and this ensures that they are fresh and will not catch any fire. 

One of the most common decorations that you are going to find in Denmark is that they usually add a bunting that represents the national flag. This is unique to the country because it has shades of red and white, and once the tree is decorated the families will join hands and sing Christmas carols around the tree.

Depending on the region of Denmark, people usually sing Christmas carols and it can lead up to an hour before they can open their Christmas presents and share the Christmas meal.

Paper star lanterns

In Denmark, different features are unique to this country. There are multi-colored lights often hung outside the homes and you are likely to find some of these paper star lanterns brightening the windows in different parts of Denmark.

Perhaps, this theme is more popular across Scandinavia, and during your visit to the region you are going to see some of these lights around the country. You can find different versions of these lanterns in the local shops or the hardware stores in Denmark.

Christmas lunch in Denmark

The Yule lunches and dinners are some of the most common phenomena across the country. In December, before Christmas Eve, many places such as workplaces, schools, unions, football teams, and friends usually host a yule lunch which can be at times delayed until January. 

There is plenty of delicious food during this period. The yule lunch is a common practice across the country and it will take place from noon through the evening. The typical yule lunch usually involves schnaps and beer. There are a variety of seafood dishes which include open-face sandwiches, shrimp, pickled herrings, deep-fried plaice fillet, and smoked salmon as well.

Depending on the region of Denmark, the pickled herring comes in different colors such as red, white, fried, and curried. There is a special rye bread common in the region as well, and you can enjoy it with a variety of cold and warm meats coupled with braised cabbages.

In Denmark, people take the Christmas lunch to a whole new level because they have julefrokost which is a popular lunch during the Christmas period. A group of ten people feast in a hearty lunch ranging from cabbage, pork, roast pork, open-faced sandwiches, traditional rice, and smorrebrod. There is also a wide array of snaps and it is a perfect way to complemet such a hearty lunch.


The risalamande is a unique part of the Christmas dishes in Denmark and it plays a key role in the dessert. It is a traditional rice that is served with cherry sauce. The people in Denmark enjoy the dessert during the Christmas period.

The risalamande is made up of sweet rice pudding topped up with chopped almonds and cherry sauce. Each rice pudding has a unique almond that is stuck into the dessert. It is believed that whoever gets the almond will get an extra gift during the Christmas period.


This is the most important component of Christmas in Denmark. The glogg is similar to the hot mulled wine and it has blanched almonds and raisins. The Christmas glogg in Denmark is heartier a warm and you are sure that you will have an exceptional time during your visit to the region.


These are traditional fritters made in December and they are usually topped up with jam and powdered sugar. People usually wash them down with a bottle of Glögg. These might look like doughnuts depending on the part of Denmark it is made.

However, the fritters usually taste like pancakes and they will have a texture of popover. There are various ways of making it and you can purchase them from the local vendors.

Christmas treats and sweets in Denmark

The month of December is a unique month in Denmark because people in the country usually take the celebrations very seriously.

Some of the things that are common in Denmark during this period are various confectionaries such as cakes, fruits, beverages, and sweet treats that are associated with the Christmas and festive season. These sweets are often found in different areas such as homes, cafes, and shops. 

The nuts that are eaten during this time include almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Some of the other treats include glazed apples, pancakes, mandarins, clementine, oranges, and local varieties of sweets and chocolates.

Yule hearts or Julehjerter 

Yule heart or the Danish Santa Claus is one of the most common Christmas traditions in Denmark. The Santa is thought to arrive being drawn by a reindeer and he usually brings presents to the children. The yule is assisted by elves and these creatures are believed to live in barns and attics. 

You are going to have an exceptional time, as the children will enjoy some of the unique desserts during the period. Many of the Danish homes are often decorated with climbing nissee which are made of cardboard cutouts and are attached to paintings.

Handmade decorates from the yule hearts are hung on the tree and members of the family can create the hearts in glossy papers. The hearts are decorated paper cones which are hung on the tree and there are strings with Danish flags attached to it making it an exceptional place to explore during your travel.

Let’s learn more about the Christmas in the neighboring countries:

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.