Monday, February 23, 2009

Our 2nd Fastelavn


I've decided that Fastelavn is more like Halloween than Halloween. Halloween here is more for scary things... no princess costumes or cute animals or silly costumes... Fastelavn is "carnival", and the kids dress up in fun costumes, but not scary ones, and there is lots of candy involved. I've learned more about this holiday. There is a pinata type thing, it's a wooden barrel, that you fill with candy... in the "olden days" they'd put a black cat and hit the cat (bad luck) out of the barrel (your life). Now there is just a picture of a black cat on the barrel as a friendly reminder. :)

And if you are the kid who hits the bottom of the barrel and makes the candy fall out - you are the Queen and get a crown. Nobody rushes for the candy though... you wait until every piece of wood is hit off the string. Whoever hits the last piece off the string is the King. Then the Queen, and King?, get a crown to wear. This is why there are SO many crowns for sale in all the stores... I just thought lots of people were dressing up as princesses because Denmark has a Queen.

We even learned part of the Fastelavn song! You are supposed to sing this song and go around to all the houses in the neigherboorhood... like trick-or-treating. The song is quite hard to remember and I can't believe little kids can say it all! :) It's much easier to yell "Trick-or-Treat" when the door opens... but much nicer to sing a song. :) Not every body does this. We had a Danish family come over to celebrate with us and they have never sang the song while going door to door. I think it may be an American thing that some people have choosen to adopt...

It made me remember how much I missed Halloween again. :( I decided that I will try and make a trip home for Halloween and stay through the day after Thanksgiving shopping! I was very sad to miss both of those things. : ( But I'm pretty sure that the cost of plane tickets for SIX will come up and mess up my plans...

Anyways! The girls are celebrating Fastelavn at school today.
Sierra is a little girl from China, and Michaela has reached the magical age of being "too cool" to dress up. I sent her with her Harry Potter costume from Halloween just in case she felt "dorky" and wanted to wear something. They will hit the wooden barrel with the wooden stick and I really hope Sierra doesn't come home from school today needing more stitches under the other eye... at least wait until we get her current ones taken out tomorrow. The whole things sounds dangerous... chards of splintery wood flying around until every single last piece is off the string... It's better I don't think about it.

Scotty has a little party at his school too so Paul and I made the best Superman costume ever!!! Of course Scotty doesn't even know who superman is, but we thought if his costume was something simple... like an S on a shirt, then he would agree to wear it. (nope) I had little faith that he would wear the cape, but he likes the letter "S" for Scotty so I had hope.. Despite Scott's refusual to touch our costume which we made with love... let alone wear it, this is still the cutest costume in the world. Paul engineered the best S I've ever seen, and I used my magical sewing abilities to make the cape complete with drawstring tie. :) ...and our felt only cost $30! (we have lots extra though)

Poozle wore a pink coat with a bunny ears on it. :)

Sierra said I could post the picture because it not just of her eye, it is of her helping me make some food. Poor little Bear... her eye is becoming more bruised looking. She will not be going to gymnastics this week. I don't want it to get bumped. I may go with her and we can watch...

P.S. Paul is in Germany for the whole week so please send me your pity for being left with four kids for the week! We may go visit him this weekend because I think he has to be there for the next week too.


The Guider said...

Wow, that sounds like a fun festival! Oh and good luck with 4 kids for at least a week, what a shocker! I can barely manage 2 for 3 days when hubby goes away, so good on you!

I looked for refried beans in Sainsburys at the weekend, no joy, is there any chance they are called something else in the UK?

'Babs' said...

I have just been catching up on your posts! I have been so busy moving I have not been reading for a few days.

Firstly: you have my deepest sympathy regarding the hospital treatment you recieved, and the pharmacy and doctor attitude.

We have been through similar, and it is a total and utter joke that Denmark is 'up there' with it's health care. It is primitive and dumb..a lot of the stuff they do is just plain idiotic, and the best care we have ever had here is with foreign doctors who don't mess about and seem to be awake.

Also sympathy re: being along with kids for a week, I feel almost alone with mine, sat here with mad professor hair and covered in dust trying to unpack while spouse is at work..long hours.

Re: The Guider: refried beans in UK: I have never seen them, but there must be a deli somewhere that would sell them: what about the markets where they sell stuff cheaper and have more varied and exotic wares?

Anonymous said...

The tradition about going from door to door begging for a coin is older than America.
When I was a kid in the 70-80's just about every kid walked from door to door in their neighbourhood dressed up and singing to get a Fastelavn's bun or coin. You ate so many buns that you couldn't eat anything else that day. But now the tradition seems to be rapidly disappearing and fewer and fewer kids walk from door to door.
Maybe because not that many make home baked Fastelavn's buns anymore and not that many are home in the afternoon when kids walk around.
Or many because many live in flats with door phones now, where you can't walk up to each door? Not sure why the tradition has faded away in recent years but it has.

The text is like this:

Fastelavn er mit navn,
boller vil jeg have.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.

Boller op, boller ned,
boller i min mave,
hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.

Boller små kan I få
så i bliver glade,
men så vil jeg ikke ha´
I laver mer ballade.

Kelli Nørgaard said...

I love this post because it totally educated me!! I knew fastelavn was yesterday but had not a clue about the rest .... and I agree.. it is how halloween was when we were kids. There is a generation of kids in the US who do not even know what real halloween is...... maybe they should all come to DK in Feb for the REAL experience!

Anonymous said...

The best thing about fastelavn is the special fastelavn buns, either home baked or from the bakery. There's a big selection of different falours of the special Fastelavn buns at every bakery around Fastelavn and they are delicious.

Tara said...

I think the buns are "unique". I thought these would be a yummy, sugary, cake like thing. It is just a piece of bread with a little dollop of frosting on top. Sometimes with jam or chocolate or something in the middle.

It was good. Just completely different than what I thought I was about to eat. :)

I guess buns/bollers means rolls not cupcakes...


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