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Fastelavn in Northern Jutland

Photo: Mette Johnsen

In February the Danish tradition of Fastelavn (Shrovetide) is taking place all over the country. Kids dress up and enjoy the old tradition of hitting a barrel full of candy with a bat.


Fastelavn is an old tradition going back to the Pagan days, where people would put a live cat in the barrel and would then hit it as it was believed that the plague could be avoided if a black cat was killed.

Today, the tradition is much more cat-friendly and mostly for children who dress up in costumes. The barrels of today are filled with candy and is often painted in various colours, the children will then line up to hit it with a bat. The first child who knocks out the bottom is made "Cat-Queen", while the one who knocks down the last board is made "Cat-King". Shrovetide buns (fastelavnsboller) are very popular at this time of year, find them at every bakery, and they are really worth a taste.

North Jutland - Experiences for the entire family

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