Shrovetide in Denmark (27/02)

Shrovetide in Denmark ( Fastelavn ) marks the beginning of preparations for a long post. On this day, in cities and villages, children stand first and wake their parents with holiday songs.

Then they dress up in colorful costumes, put on masks and, picking up Fastelavnsris birch branches decorated with bright paper and sweets, walk the streets and sing songs in hope, that the townspeople will fill their boxes with sweets. At the end of the day, children gather around a large wooden barrel hung on a tree or on a pillar. In turn, they try to split it with a baton.

Anyone who succeeds becomes the owner of a bunch of sweets and fruits that fill the barrel; he is appointed king of Fastelavn and laid a paper crown on his head, after which the king chooses the queen for himself. In the old days, a black cat was planted in a barrel and pounded on a barrel until the animal was dying. Only adults did this. In modern Denmark, only a black cat painted on a barrel recalls this barbaric tradition.

In some cities, on this day in the morning, a rider procession takes place along the streets, accompanied by a cart with musicians. They stop at the request of the townspeople and perform a song in exchange for hot rum. And in the evening, the riders break their barrel, suspended on the ropes between the two pillars. Each rider, sitting on a halyard- racing horse, throws a heavy stick into the barrel. When the barrel completely falls apart, the audience begins the election of the queen and the king of the barrel, who then open the ball of the barrel.