Danish Language Blog

Words From The Easter Egg Posted by on Mar 31, 2013 in Traditions, Vocabulary

It’s påske (Easter)! Last year I told you about the various dag/e (day/s) of Easter in Denmark. Let’s look at some words associated with this important højtid (festival, literally ”high-time”):

  • kirke (”KEERkeh”, church). As a rule, Denmark is not a very religious country. However, even the typical Danish tvivler (doubter) might fall in love with whitewashed churches and lilla (lilac) candles in Easter… (In ordinary houses, the Easter colour of choice is gul, yellow.)
  • påskeferie (”PAWskeh-ferh-eeyeh”, Easter Holiday). It’s nice getting a few days off. If you’re a schoolkid, you get an entire uge (week) to enjoy the early forår (Spring)!
  • påskeæg (”PAWskeh-ehg”, Easter eggs). Påskeharen (The Easter Hare) has laid chokoladeæg (chokolate eggs) in haven (the garden) and in skoven (the forest). Can you find them?
  • kylling (”KEEHling”, chicken). Yes, the eggs are brought by a hare, but upon hatching little yellow kyllinger appear. At least they do in countless påskedekorationer (Easter decorations).
  • gækkebrev (”GEHKeh-breoo”, teasing letter). This tradition only exists in Denmark. In the days prior to påsken you may send an anonymous letter to someone you know. The gækkebrev is usually cut from a piece of paper in a way that makes it look like a piece of lace. You write a little verse and add your name like this: •••••. If your friend fails to guess it’s you, (s)he owes you a påskeæg! Make sure to make your letter as mysterious as possible, so you’re not the one that has to give an egg…
  • påskefrokost (”PAWskeh-frohkost”, Easter lunch). What would Denmark be without its delicious mad (food)? Put half an egg on your sildemad (piece of bread with herring), some snaps in the little glass, and påskebryg (Easter brew = beer) in the big glass… God påske! (Happy Easter!)
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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.