Yesterday, I went to a Danish birthday for the very first time. It was Martin’s birthday, my host father, and we went to the town where his parents live, Vejle (pronounced “vie-ly,”) to spend the day. The city is very pretty, we walked around downtown for a bit, on the boardwalk, it was really nice. Although it was a very cold day with more wind than usual, downtown was very crowded. The storefronts are really beautiful, and to get the attention of the shoppers, they set sales racks or new arrivals outside on the street.
After the walk, which was cut short due to the cold, we had lunch at a delicious restaurant, barbecue ribs and baked potatoes. Afterwards, we went to Martin’s parents’ house where we sang happy birthday and ate Danish birthday cake, which is quite different. To start, it’s not made with the same cake we are used to, there’s no filling, and it’s in the shape of a little boy. The dough is similar to a French cruller, without the usual toppings. Instead, there is a thinner sugar glaze sprinkled about, with all sorts of gummies for eyes, a nose, a mouth, hair and clothes. We sang “Happy Birthday” (actually, I didn’t sing anything, all I did was watch) and then Martin cut his cake. Oh, and there were no candles! I still don’t know the birthday boy’s age.
Another interesting thing is the use of the little Danish flags. Many families decorate their front yard with Danish flags to let people know it is someone’s birthday. This day there were flags at our table at the restaurant.
A very different, but very interesting, birthday.