Danish Language Blog

Danes and Snow Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

(Photo courtesy of Thomas Angermann at Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 license.)

Det sner! (It’s snowing!) Snow in Denmark isn’t so common as people abroad sometimes imagine. Maybe because of klimaforandringer (climate changes), Danes go through weeks and weeks of gray winter rain, and then – bang! The miracle occurs, covering marker (fields), skove (forests), haver (gardens) and tage (roofs) with a beautiful hvidt tæppe (white carpet). Still, many Danes have  mixed feelings about the magical winter powder…

Frostsne (frost snow) is the kind of sne children and barnlige sjæle (child-like souls = playful adults) dream about. Temperaturen (the temperature) stays below zero °C, and the snow is so compact and amazing that it knirker (is creaking) below your vinterstøvler (winter boots). You can build a snemand (snowman), kælke ned ad en kælkebakke (toboggan down a toboggan run), slås med snebolde (have a snowball fight) or stå på ski (go skiing – yes, there are several forests and hilly areas that are excellent for cross-country skiiing in Denmark).

sne (melting snow) is the kind of sne most Danes experience – and they hate it! The cold air gets wet and heavy, and the streets become slushy glidebaner (slides). People worry about the traffic, as biler og cykler (cars and bicycles) get slowed down. Everywhere there are forsinkelser (delays), and people are freezing and sneezing.

Nonetheless, sne is really important to people’s sense of living in a Nordic country. If you check out Danish reklamer (ads) – especially the ones for Xmas related products, such as juleøl (Xmas beer) – I’m quite sure you’ll find bunker af sne (loads of snow).

In spite of the complaints, Danes, too, are dreaming about a hvid jul (white Christmas). When you don’t have to be on the roads, sne quite simply transforms the country, and makes even the saddest street sparkle. Hundelorte (dog shits) and stress disappear below de langsomme snefnug (the slow snowflakes). As the saying goes: Der er intet i verden så stille som sne. (There’s nothing in this world as quiet as snow.)

Glædelig jul! 🙂

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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.