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Fireworks going off all over central Copenhagen, Denmark, during New Year’s Eve

Spend New Year’s Eve in Denmark

It is uncertain which public celebrations of New Year will take place in 2020. But we’ll still be celebrating the end of one year and looking forward to the next year – and here’s how we do it.

How Danes celebrate New Year

Traditionally, New Year's Eve in Denmark is one big party. Many Danes see in the new year with friends, eating together and watching the Queen’s New Year speech at 6pm. It might be followed by a black and white film called ‘Dinner for One’ (you can find it on YouTube) and then a whole lot of drinking, eating and enjoying each other’s company leading up to the countdown to midnight from Copenhagen’s Town Hall Square, Rådhuspladsen.

Expect to see fireworks go off from the time the sun goes down to the time it comes up again in the new year.

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One big leap

There’s one super quirky treat in store for you at your first Danish New Year’s party: at 12, Danes will jump off a chair or sofa. That’s because it’s seen as good luck to jump into the new year – and bad luck if you don’t! Then you can happily indulge in a slice of Kransekage, baked specially for the occasion.

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Out on the town on New Year’s Eve

Many people eat at home, drinking a glass of Champagne after the Queen’s Speech, and then head out into town to continue their celebrations. But you don’t have to do it that way - you can also make the most of the many special new year’s menus on offer.

Dining out at New Year

Typically, there are many restaurants that stay open late for New Year, but this year, the latest they can be open to is 10pm. Many restaurants have special New Year's menus, and while other entertainment venues would typically offer special New Year packages with entrance, free bars as well as champagne and kransekage, for 2020, it is not clear which events, if any, will go ahead.

Fyrverkerier på Tivoli i Köpenhamn

Celebrating the New Year in Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens is open on New Year's Eve, and many of the restaurants at Tivoli have special New Year's menus. If you want to eat at Tivoli then it is a good idea to book well in advance, as it is usually popular. At 23:00, Tivoli's big New Year's fireworks display begins.

At 12pm, it's traditional for people to gather on the Town Hall Square, at the heart of Copenhagen, to hear the clock tower chime in the New Year. Another popular gathering spot is the bridge across the lakes to Nørrebro, Queen Louise's Bridge

How to spend New Year's Day in Denmark

For obvious reasons, New Year’s Day is a quiet day across Denmark. January 1 is a public holiday in Denmark, so many shops and most museums and attractions are closed. If you’re staying somewhere self-catering, know that supermarkets are typically closed.

When you finally wake from your long and well-deserved sleep, either carry on the party, take a walk in the fresh new year air, or dive into some more hygge at home.