For members


The complete guide to Easter in Denmark

Egg hunts, an all-day lunch, gækkebrev, five-day weekend and snaps. Here's your complete guide to a Danish Easter.

Easter egg hunt
You'll come across many egg hunts over the Easter period in Denmark. Photo: Miro Vrlik, Unsplash

Five-day holiday

The Easter period in Denmark includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. These are national holidays in Denmark when schools are closed and most people do not work. 

Even though Easter has become less of a religious holiday, Danish flags are flown at half-mast on Good Friday.

It is worth checking opening times for shops, supermarkets, attractions and restaurants during this period because many close for the whole long weekend.

Most people stretch out the bank holidays and either take the entire first or second week off. Many will go to their summer houses or spend time with family, so you may find the cities quieter than usual.
Tivoli is a fun place to visit over Easter. Photo: Marie Hald/Ritzau Scanpix

Easter decorations

Homes are decorated with Easter colours (yellow, mint green, pale pink), fresh flowers or branches to hang decorations from. It’s very popular to bring nature into homes in Denmark.

Children also bring home Easter decorations such as a small chicken or bunny box with cress seeds.

Easter decorations

Photo: Freestocks, Unsplash


The påskefrokost, or Easter lunch, is a must for most Danes. Some families have Easter lunches at a restaurant, but most people invite family and friends to their homes.

Usually taking place on Easter Sunday, the Easter lunch can be drawn out across the day and can encompass both the afternoon and evening meals. It is interspersed by going for walks in the (hopefully) spring weather and with Easter egg hunts.

The food will include rye bread (of course), eggs, cress, fish fillet with remoulade, different kinds of herring, a variety of cheese, sliced meats and liver pâté (leverpostej).

Easter lunch in Denmark

An example of påskefrokost. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Lamb is also a typical dish for this time of year, as well as tarteletter. These are tartlets made using puff pastry and a filling of chicken, asparagus, carrots and celery.

Two of the most popular Easter time cakes are citrontærte, lemon tart and the citronmåne or lemon moon, a lemon infused sponge with marzipan and icing.


Tarteletter. File photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix

The drinks will include Easter beers. All breweries begin releasing their Påskebryg (Easter brew) in the run up to Easter, claiming it to be stronger and tastier than the average beer. 

There will also be snaps, or “en lille en,” a northern European kind of flavoured spirit (could be akvavit), which people drink in one-go, accompanied by a cheerful “Skåål!” 

If you’re invited to a påskefrokost, remember to bring a bottle of wine or some flowers and arrive on time.

READ ALSO: Five ways to make a good impression at a Danish home


Making a gækkebrev (or several) is a standard activity for Danish children. The idea is to design a letter in the basic shape of a snowflake that includes a rhyming riddle and a snowdrop. Children will not sign their names on the letter, but will instead put one dot for every letter in their name.

Recipients then have to guess who sent them the letter. If they guess right, the sender has to give them a chocolate egg. If they don’t guess the sender’s identity, then the recipient has to give the egg. You’ll almost certainly know which child sent it to you but play along and give them the chocolate. 

Danish gækkebrev

An example of a gækkebrev. Photo: Bjarne Lüthcke/Ritzau Scanpix


Like everywhere else in the world, the egg is a major symbol of Easter in Denmark. It symbolises new life and a new beginning.

Eggs will be eaten boiled, fried or as a prepared solæg, which translates as “sun egg.” This is a tradition from southern Denmark. The eggs are boiled with onions and the yolk turns dark. The eggs are then put into a salty mixture for at least one week, and then eaten with mustard and chilli.  

Solæg, a kind of hard-boiled egg, is enjoyed during Easter, particularly in South Jutland. Photo: Annett Bruhn/Ritzau Scanpix

Easter egg hunts

Easter is not complete without an Easter egg hunt. Children look for chocolate eggs in the garden or in parks that the Easter bunny has hidden. They also plays games with eggs. One game is throwing boiled eggs to see who can throw the furthest.

Easter eggs

Photo: Cybèle and Bevan, Unsplash
Decorating eggs is also popular, which you can do by making a tiny hole at the bottom and top of an egg with a needle and blowing out the contents before carefully decorating the shell.  

For the professional look, head to Royal Copenhagen’s flagship store on Strøget. They produce a new Easter egg each year in porcelain – it can be opened at the top and filled with chocolate. 

However you celebrate your Danish Easter, we hope it’s a good one. God påske allesammen!

READ ALSO: Påskefrokost: What are the essentials of a Danish Easter lunch?

For members


Why do Danes love group singing at family gatherings?

If you’ve been to a wedding, birthday or confirmation in Denmark you’ll probably have experienced the phenomenon that is the 'fællessang' or group singing.

Why do Danes love group singing at family gatherings?

Most common at weddings, milestone birthdays or confirmations for young teenagers, the Danish group song usually takes place at some point after the beginning, but before the end of the meal when everyone is still sitting and gathered.

Somebody will go around handing out sheets of paper which will contain several verses and choruses of a song. The song sheets might also be decorated with photos of the birthday boy or girl or the happy couple.

Everyone will get a sheet which, on which a line at the top explains the tune to which the song will be sung. It will be a well-known song in Denmark but as a foreigner, you’ll probably never have heard of it.

Then it will be time to sing.

Everybody stands up and as the music begins you must sing along with everybody else. The lyrics will not be the original lyrics to the song (not that you know them anyway), but a completely new adapted version written by one of the guests.

These new lyrics will be all about the person or couple being celebrated at the party, perhaps including anecdotes about their life and shared experiences with the person who wrote this song, such as holidays, achievements or other major events (and sometimes also minor ones).

There may be one or two guests who sing along with gusto to this new song’s maiden (and only ever) outing, but most people will murmur and mumble their way through it.

It’s not so bad, you might think. It’s just a bit of fun, a little bit of singing that will soon be over. Wrong. There are usually at least five verses (plus choruses) and maybe more than ten, which means that this excruciating experience of mutual singing can feel like it goes on forever.

Danes are generally known for being reserved and sensible in the public sphere, but you won’t hear anyone complaining about joining in with the group song, and it usually gets plenty of words of encouragement after the event.

So what is it about birthdays and weddings that makes group-singing awkward lyrics to an ancient Danish tune such a well-loved custom?

It should also be noted that this tradition is popular everywhere: regardless of age, geographical location, political viewpoint or income level, all Danes keenly take part in party group singing.

READ ALSO: Five Danish children’s songs international parents will inevitably have to learn

A survey conducted by YouSee on behalf of newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad in 2021 found that one in two Danes consider group singing to be a national custom in Denmark, and that three in four consider songs in Danish to be an important part of the national cultural legacy.

The survey also found that group singing was popular across age groups, geographical location, and political affiliation, backing up the sense that you’re likely to experience it wherever you go to attend a gathering like a wedding or confirmation.

The survey was part of an article series by the newspaper focusing on songs from the Højskolesangbogen (book of songs for folk high schools), which were written with the purpose of being sung by groups at folk high schools, Danish adult education institutions based on the ideas of eighteenth-century philosopher N. F. S. Grundtvig.

While it therefore seems that group singing is backed by centuries of Danish tradition, singing in groups also brings people together outside of folk high schools.

A researcher in religious history from Aarhus University’s Grundtvig Centre who has researched the custom of group singing told Kristeligt Dagblad at the time that group singing could be considered a “signature cultural practice”, meaning something that Danes feel distinguishes them from other national identities.

It is becoming increasingly popular as an activity in modern Denmark, the researcher, Katrine Frøkjær Baunvig, told Kristeligt Dagblad.

“I see it more as part of a cultural experience trend, where you buy a ticket to a singing event and go there and sing because you think it will be good for yourself,” she said.

In Spring 2020, many people in Denmark took part in group singing events — sometimes involving singing from balconies or out of apartment windows — in initiatives aimed at helping national morale during the coronavirus crisis.

A researcher from a different field made comments that appear to support the notion of group singing as something that promotes a feeling of togetherness and belonging to a community.

“We primarily sing for the sense of community we get from it,” Lea Wierød Borcak, a postdoc in Musicology at Aarhus University in 2021, told Kristeligt Dagblad.

“Singing together is one of the most eminently unsurpassed ways to bring people together,” she said.

“I think that singing is an important ritual in itself for many people. What you actually sing is not so important, but when we mark these big milestones in life, we sing,” she also said.