ARU Christmas Break - Denmark, Music and Dance

Dominique

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School: School of Creative Industries
Course: Music Therapy MA

5 January 2023

During the holiday break, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Denmark for a true and wholesome Christmas experience filled with rich traditions and family connections.

I’m grateful that I am living in England and studying at Anglia Ruskin because it’s allowed me to travel to nearby countries and experience things that I would not have been able to in the states. I decided to visit family friends in Denmark for Christmas instead of going back to the states. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

Most of the festivities took place on the 24th and 26th of December, but the Christmas celebration really went on for three days straight. On Christmas Eve, there was a traditional Danish dinner for 22 people, and they decorated the house from top to bottom in Danish colours, lights, and hearts. After dinner came one of the most fun and entertaining Christmas traditions I had ever been part of.

They moved the Christmas tree into the centre of the room, and we all held hands. To cater to the younger teenagers and encourage their engagement, they were permitted to play one pop Christmas song that everyone danced around the tree to. I could not stop smiling as we all danced, sang, and held hands as we went round and round. Once that song was over, they sang several other traditional Danish Christmas songs while everyone danced in a circle. It was amazing to see so many people participating in this and multiple generations of their families sharing this moment. At one point, one person broke the chain of hands, and we proceeded to dance around the living room and kitchen before returning to circling the tree. The words and phrases weren’t always perfect, and the dancing was unstructured, but it didn’t matter. It was a perfect moment for the family to come together to sing and dance for this very important holiday.

I feel honoured to have witnessed and been part of all of this. I continue to see the importance dance and song has culturally and spiritually all over the world.

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