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FASTELAVN - danish tradition

Sunday 7/2-2016 we celebrate Fastelavn. Fastelavn is seven weeks before easter. It is the prelude to easter. The term Fastelavn comes from old danish fastelaghen, which was a borrowing of the Middel Low German vastel-avent, meaning "fast-evening", or the day before Lent.

It is a kind of carnival where the kids get dressed up in costumes and gathers treats.

Traditional events include slå katten af tønden ("hit the cat out of the barrel"), which is similar to using a piñata. The Danes use a wooden barrel, which is full of candy and sometimes oranges and has the image of a cat on it. Historically there was a real black cat in the barrel, and beating the barrel was superstitiously considered a safeguard against evil. After the candy pours out, the game continues until the entire barrel is broken. The one who knocks down the bottom of the barrel (making all the candy spill out) becomes kattedronning ("queen of cats"). The one who knocks down the last piece of the barrel becomes kattekonge ("king of cats").

In Denmark a popular baked good associated with the day is Fastelavnsbolle (lit. "Fastelavns buns", also known in English as "shrovetide bun" or "lenten bun"), a round sweet roll usually covered with icing and sometimes filled with whipped cream. A popular children's song in Denmark is:

Original Danish
Fastelavn er mit navn,
boller vil jeg have.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.
Boller op, boller ned
boller i min mave.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.
English translation:

Shrovetide is my name,
buns I want.
If I get no buns,
I will make trouble.
Buns up, buns down
buns in my tummy.
If I get no buns,
I will make trouble.


In Nørre Aaby School we will celebrate Fastelavn on monday (8/2-16) where all of the pupils from kindergarten to third grade will be in costumes and hit the cat out of the barrel. We will play games, sing songs and eat Fastelavnsboller.

Pictures from Fastelavn in Nørre Aaby School


The book of children´s records are visiting Nørre Aaby School on the 14. of june. The 4., 5. and 6. grade have knitted a very long scarf with help from all people in the town.

Eleverne_syr_sammen.jpgThe pupils are sewing the knitted patches together

Det_faerdige_halstorklaede.jpgNow it is done and ready for the judge from the book of children´s records