Danish Canadian Museum Advent Calendar - December 16, 2020
We're nine days till Christmas Eve, and the holiday spirt is something we all create. To create memories and share traditions and make connections to our past. Like one of my favorite Danish quotes says, "Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
If You count today there are 10 days till the 25th, I'm curious if our Nisse want there porridge on the 24th or 25th - hmmmmm.......... this is something we have to get right. A unhappy Nisse is a mischievous Nisse.
A wonderful tradition about the Danish woven heart has an interesting story.
The decorated Christmas tree comes, as far as we know today, from Southwest Germany or Switzerland, and the tradition goes back to around 1500.
From here the trees started to appear in private homes, and we have written evidence from a manuscript dated 1604 telling about a decorated tree in a home in Strasbourg. This tree was decorated with apples, cookies, gold and, what is more interesting in this context, with gaily colored paper cut-outs.
The art of paper cutting was already popular in Europe when the idea of the
decorated Christmas tree came about, and it is no wonder that people combined these two ideas. The woven paper heart is the most popular Christmas tree decoration in Denmark. Every child has made one or more, and it is part of the preparation for Christmas to gather around the big table and make some decorations for this year's tree. As far as we know this particular basket has its origin in Denmark, and the oldest known example is kept in the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark. It was made by the fairytale writer himself, in the 1860s, and given to a certain Mathilde 0rsted as a token of affection. It was made in green and yellow paper. The basket is hung on the tree and most often filled with sweets.
It is also part of this Danish Christmas tradition, that you are allowed to strip the tree on the third day of Christmas December 26th. In most families we have to refill the baskets before the stripping!
I want to thank everyone who has been encouraging me along the way to continue. I can honestly say at the beginning that I was thinking I'd made a terrible mistake in this undertaking, but thanks to all of our amazing members I have started looking forward to this everyday instead of immense fear.