February 22, 2009
Today "Fastelavn Sunday" is celebrated all over Denmark. A festivity, coinciding with other similar celebrations; such as the "Mardi Gras" in the US, the Rio de Janeiro "Carnival" and the "Fasching" in Germany. This is the beginning of the forty day fasting period that indicates the start of the religious observance of Lent.
Fastelavn can be can be described as the Nordic, or rather Danish Halloween, when children dress up in costumes and gather treats by knocking on doors in their neighborhood. The tradition includes also the kids to "slå katten af tønden" ("hit the cat out of the barrel"), which is somewhat similar to a piñata, except that it is a wooden barrel, which is full of candy and has the image of a cat on it.
The bakers sell particular pastry made for this holiday, called Fastelavnsbolle, which a sweet bun with icing and a filled with whipped cream.
As for weather, it has been some odd 24 hours. Yesterday we had a snow storm, and received up to 10cm snow, which caused traffic problems and made everything look like a winter wonderland. I was forced to go outside and brush the snow of some of my bushes, as there was risk they would break under the heavy weight of the snow. However, already in the early hours of the morning, a wave of warm air approached from the west. Today, although very windy, is a sunny spring day. All the snow is gone, like it has never been there in the first place. Wouldn't it be for the pictures I took, I would have doubted it happened at all. This was the shortest snow storm on record. April weather is arriving two months too early this year, I guess.