06 January 2011

Christmas Photo Update

Sorry for the lack of post. Please view my facebook photo album to see pictures of my journey tracking distant Seelmann relatives and my travels with Erica over Christmas and New Years!

View my album on facebook by clicking here.

30 November 2010

Juledag (Christmas Eve)

Christmas Eve is the major festival of the year. Danes eat their traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. The menu usually consists of roast duck and pork with caramelized and boiled potatoes, baked apple, and red cabbage. This is followed by a cold rice pudding with cherry sauce and chopped almonds. A whole almond is hidden in the pudding, and the lucky finder wins the 'almond gift,' traditionally a marzipan pig. Afterwards there is dancing around the Christmas tree (which is usually put up on this day) and the singing of traditional Christmas songs, followed by the opening of presents.

It is hard to be away from family and friends during the holidays, but luckily Erica will be visiting Denmark for Christmas and New Years! I am looking forward to her time in Europe.

I also have a big trip to Germany planned prior to her arrival to meet some distant German ancestors and drink a brew at the Seelmann Bräu. Click here to check out the website. I have been looking forward to this trip since I've arrived in Denmark considering I am only one country north!

The brewery is in a small town called Zettmannsdorf, which is a village of 200 inhabitants situated in the nature park Steigerwald - about 20 miles west of the Upper Franconian city of Bamberg in the town of Schönbrunn i. Stgw.

Well, this concludes blogging everyday in the month of November! It was not easy, and I apologize for some lame posts. The first three weeks of December I will find myself in studio finishing up phase 2 of 3 of my project.


28 November 2010


Christmas celebrations start in Denmark with advent which means "coming". It is the coming of Christ that is referred to. Originally it was also a time for fasting and doing penance and thereby preparing yourself for the Christmas feast.

On the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve - the first Sunday of advent - a wreath of pine twigs mounted with four candles and red or purple ribbons is hung up and one candle is lit. The following Sunday the next candle is lit, lighting one more each Sunday. This tradition is the first sign of Christmas approaching. That, along with the ample amounts of Christmas decorations around town.

27 November 2010


Gløgg is a hot, red-mulled wine that is common to consume in the Scandinavian countries during the holidays. The main classic ingredients are usually red wine, sugar or syrup, raisins, almonds, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit or brandy. One of my Danish classmates told me that some families put slivered almonds into the mix, with one whole almond. Whoever finds the whole almond gets a special Christmas treat, and the anticipation to find it keeps people going back to the punch bowl and drinking more!

All over Scandinavia 'gløgg parties' are often held during the month before Christmas. In Denmark, gløgg parties typically include æbleskiver (like a donut hole) sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with strawberry marmalade.

This will be one tradition I will continue when I someday have my own family.

As most of us know, Sandra from the FoodNetwork is technically an alcoholic. Check out her gløgg recipe by clicking here.

26 November 2010

Cultural Differences...

It has been quite jolly and merry around here, as most of us would prefer biking in the snow over the drenching rain. Many Christmas parties are coming up, including one tonight. It's a small party with all the people in my grade of Department 1 attending.

Today at lunch we discussed some of our different holiday traditions, considering many of us are from different countries at the school. (This is just one of many reasons I would advocate studying abroad - it is important to learn and appreciate other cultures around the world.)

Anyways - Gladys, a french girl, asked me if my family made "spicy bread house."

She was referring to a Gingerbread house!

This was a good laugh.

Have a good weekend all!

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear all celebrating the great holiday of Thanksgiving! Please eat my portion of turkey, mashed potatoes, and oyster stuffing. It is a beautiful, snowy, winter wonderland here today at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture!