Historically, the traditional Danish Christmas meal is roast pork, boiled potatoes, red cabbage and brown gravy, although in recent times roast duck has also become popular. For dessert, the classic dish is rice pudding with almonds and cherry sauce.
Every year most Danes attend one or more Christmas luncheons througout December. Typically, Christmas luncheons are held by companies for their employers, between groups of friends and family. Most hotels, inns and restaurants offer special Christmas dishes on their menus. The traditional Danish kitchen offers a wide variety of cold and warm dishes which all belong to this famous ritual, including staple Danish dishes such as salmon, herring, cold cuts and liverpâté with bacon and mushrooms. To make it all go down well you not only have the beer (or wine - or even sparkling water for the drivers) but also the Christmas snaps, which like the beer is presented every year before Christmas.
The inner spirit is well taken care of by the famous Danish breweries, too. Each year, usually on the first Friday in November, Tuborg release their new Christmas beer . Known in Denmark as “Julebryg”, which literarily translates as Christmas brew, this beer is both darker and stronger than the traditional lager and is launched on the same day simultaneously across the country in a festive manner.
The Danes love the annual release of julebryg  so much they have a name for it; “J-Dag”, or J-day. Equally important to the Danish Christmas brew tradition is the Julebryg commercial that runs every year (see link on right). A simple animated film, with a minimal plot, the commercial nevertheless signifies the coming of Christmas (and Julebryg) to most Danes. And the commercial has changed little since its inception in 1984.
The last two weeks before Christmas the great baking period begins and every family is busy baking their favourite cakes and cookies using traditional recipes hat have been handed over from generation to generation. Some of the most popular Danish Christmas cookies are: ginger snaps, deep fried crullers, vanilla biscuits or gingerbread shaped as hearts and decorated with ribbons.
While the oven is working overtime everyone is busy making Christmas decorations for the house or the tree and sweetmeats or candies out of marzipan, chocolate fudge, almonds, dates, hazelnuts and crystallized fruits and berries.
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