Danish Christmas Lunch: ‘Nothing comes after it, only the next day’

Christmas lunch as the name suggests, expected to be a normal lunch on the Christmas Day. If you are thinking in this way, then you are way too wrong.

It is basically a dinner which starts during afternoon (15:00-16:00) and continue till the next morning (depends). In Denmark it says, there is no dinner after the Christmas lunch, only the day next to it. It is most interesting fact, that Christmas lunch can be done any time before and after the actual Christmas. It is same like celebrating your birthday any time during the year.

‘How can you celebrate Christmas lunch before or after the Christmas?’ I asked to receptionist of my department who was quite old and now she has been retired. This was my question when I saw invitation for Christmas lunch 3 weeks after the actual Christmas.  She was very polite in replying to me query like my grandmother. ‘Christmas is a celebration of sharing joy among family members, friends, colleagues and close ones. In Denmark, during the Christmas you realize that you may have many people who like your company, that you cannot attend every function. To avoid this problem, Christmas lunch can be organized before and after the Christmas thus spreading the joy of festival for a longer duration’.

Now, many of you will think that this is an unconventional way of celebrating festivals. But in the student group BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) Copenhagen in which I am a member, we took one step more by going even more unconventional. We organized Christmas lunch during the summer for other students came from different European Countries. The course is organized each year by the local group with students from Europe. This Christmas lunch is one of the ways to make other students making aware of Danish traditions. This is well received year by year by course students.

Let’s talk more about Christmas Lunch. So it starts sometime around 15:00-16:00 of the day. It will be good if you are dressed up well and take some present for the host (if invited by family).  It will be an entire new post, if I have to describe the food.  It contains Danish bread, potato salad (i think sweet) and lot of other things which I cannot recall now.  Once started, this is a continuous chain of eating. You keep eating and keep talking over the table for hours.  It will go very late and you do not need to eat anything after this. That is why it is said, ‘Nothing after it, only the day after it’. I will try to write more about food in a separate post.

With this, I want to conclude this blog post about Christmas Lunch. To the people who are planning to come to Denmark, be ready to receive Danish Hospitality and do not make any plans for dinner the day you are invited for Christmas Lunch.

By Ankit Khandelwal • January 29, 2012



  1. Posted January 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm by Jovana | Permalink

    wow, thanks for sharing such a nice tradition in this blog post. 🙂
    Hope I will visit Denmark one day 😀

  2. Posted January 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm by Ankit Khandelwal | Permalink

    Hey Joavan,
    I am glad that you liked the post. Yes, it is indeed interesting to take part in Danish Christmas Lunch. I hope you will visit this country one day.


Denmark: An insider view from a student's perspective

Ankit Khandelwal

[This blog has won world's 5th best exchange blog award in the year 2012] A former Indian student studied master's in chemical and biochemical engineering as an Elite Master Student. Currently, he is member of Youth Good Will Ambassador Corps Denmark. He is writing about some insights of Denmark from his perspective related to day to day life, education, food as well as sports. Despite returning back to India in 2012, he still maintains good ties with Denmark. Follow him: @enlighting Website: www.ankitkhandelwal.in .