December 31, 2013

The New Year is nearly upon us and it is a time for reflection, celebration and resolution.

With the holidays now over and 2014 set to begin in just a few hours I sit here curious about how similar Danish and American New Year celebrations are to one another. I did a little research and found that they are really quite similar! Both involve ringing in the New Year surrounded by friends, while toasting, dancing, and awaiting the midnight strike of the clock. Although there are some differences – for instance, delicacies: Kogt torsk (boiled Cod) & “Kransekage” Marzipan ring cake for The Danes; watching ‘the ball drop’ in America and the striking of midnight by the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen; awaiting The Queen’s New Year Speech at 6pm in Denmark – there is still much to celebrate on both sides!

New Years Eve in Denmark

Her Majesty Queen Margrethe’s annual speech has been such an honored and cherished tradition since Christian X gave the first radio broadcasted New Year Speech on January 1, 1941.  In learning this I felt compelled to want to know more about the entire Royal Family, and I found some very interesting information.

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort were wed in Holmens Church, Copenhagen, in 1967 and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace.  HRH Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian was born on May 26,1968, and HRH Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian was born on June 7, 1969.  In 1972 HM Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, became Queen of Denmark.

Queen Margrethe & the Prince Consort

Also in my research I found that Royals have visited The Danish Home of Chicago!

  • In 1976 HM The Queen and Prince Henrik visited The Danish Home as part of their trip to commemorate the Bicentennial celebration of the US.
  • In June of 1988 Princess Benedikte of Denmark was the guest of honor at a champagne reception at The Danish Home.  Here is a picture from her visit:Princess Benedikte of Denmark visits The Danish Home in 1988
  • In 2009 Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary visited the Midwest, which included a stop at The Danish Home of Chicago.  Here is an excerpt from a speech he gave to the residents that I found in The Copenhagen Post, dated March 26, 2009:

“The Danish Home is one of the few communities in the United States to have been founded by Danish immigrants’ the Crown Prince told the residents. To me, The Danish Home is but one example of a long lasting and profound affinity between the peoples of America and Denmark. It is more than just a place to live, it is a way of life. There are frequent outings to restaurants, museums and theatres – all of which allow residents to remain active members of the city.”

How fascinating!  HRH The Crown Prince’s words about the Home would’ve made Emma and the other Founding Women so proud about their achievements and the continued integrity of The Home and its Foundation.

With that said, there are so many wonderful upcoming events and programs scheduled for 2014, including VOX 3 Collective Presents Music & Masquerades:  A Festival of Danish Art & Culture right here in Chicago!  Stay tuned to learn more from The Danish Home and The Hope Chest.

Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful 2014!