Between Two Seasons
Hello and welcome to this month's edition of our newsletter. Spring is in full effect, and we hope that you are enjoying all of what it has to offer. Just like the upcoming month of May, this newsletter will operate between spring and summer. As the gardens of Denmark begin to prosper, the Danes will take their activities to the outdoors and this in turn unveils traditions quite unique to Denmark. This newsletter will take you through some of these traditions, whilst also touching on the very relevant subject of Danish architecture and the Liberation of Denmark.
We hope that you will enjoy this month's edition and although temperatures might not have risen to your desired level yet, we hope that this newsletter will make it easier to hold out for warmer days.

OBS: We have authored an article about the journey of Dahlia Dry. A story about how an American from South Florida ended up in the capital of Denmark. Check it out at the bottom of this newsletter!
If you want your story told, be sure to contact us at or through our Instagram - @expatindenmark
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The 1st of May
Photo: C. G.
Around the world and in Denmark, the date of May 1st has both historical and modern significance. In the northern parts of Europe, May 1st has marked the change from winter weather to summer weather. In the olden days of Denmark, the 1st of May was the day where farmworkers could change occupation.

The 1st of May was one of two days a year where the "tyende" as they are called in Danish were allowed to change place of work at the farm or house in which they worked. Thankfully, the working conditions have changed for the better in Denmark and rather symbolically the 1st of May is now best known for its status as International Workers Day in Denmark and around the world.
International Workers Day
Every year on the 1st of May, "Arbejdernes Internationale Kampdag" is celebrated in the largest cities of Denmark. Although the day isn't officially a holiday, some people have half or all of the day off work. This is decided by the agreements between the unions representing the employee and the employer. Select schools have also chosen to make this day a holiday. The inception of this day has its roots in the fight for an 8-hour workday.

In Denmark, the inaugural Workers Day was held in 1890 in Copenhagen. The first and largest celebration was held in Fælledparken in Copenhagen, where speeches are still held by politicians and trade unionists. Many other events are held throughout the country, and you can be sure to see and listen to celebrations with red flags in a city near you.

If you want to read more about the history of the International Workers Day in Denmark, click the red button below.
The Liberation of Denmark
Photo: National Museum of Denmark
The 5th of May 1945 was a significant day in the history of Denmark. Denmark had been occupied by Nazi-Germany for more than 5 years after the successful Operation Weserübung on the 9th of April, 1940. In the months leading up to the liberation of Denmark, the Danish society had been showing significant signs of rapid deterioration and was on the brink of dissolving. Denmark had been without a government since the August-rebellion in 1943 and the police and military had been disintegrated for over a year. Supplies from Germany had almost halted because of the success of the Allies and railway-sabotage. The lack of means of power from the state and the increasing unemployment as a result of lack of goods meant rising crime and in addition to this the streets of many of Denmark's larger cities were affected by civil war-like clashes between the Danish resistance movement and the Nazi-troops.
The Message of Liberation
Although the 5th of May is the official date of the Danish Liberation, the night before marked the beginning of the official end of German occupation. In the middle of the usual evening broadcast on May 4th, the long-awaited message was heard.
It started as a regular broadcast from the BBC. One of those that thousands of Danes had gotten used to hearing during the occupation. From the London premises of the BBC, Danish journalist Johannes G. Sørensen had read the news many times, but this time the news took a happy turn. "At this moment it is announced that the German troops in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark have surrendered". The Germans had withdrawn, and Denmark was free again after 5 years of darkness. Now came summer and freedom.
Candles in the Windows
When the Nazis had occupied Denmark in April 1940, the Danes were required to darken their windows and limit all outdoor lighting. Blackout curtains were required, and all vehicle lights only had narrow slits of light to shine through. The reason for the blackout was to make it difficult for "enemy" airplanes to navigate over the country.
When the liberation sounded on the radio that storied May-evening, the euphoria of salvation was released out into the streets of Denmark. People tore down the hated blackout curtains and let the light shine through every window. Throughout Denmark, the curtains were burned in the street and bonfires of joy lit up the land.
A few years after the end of the war, it became possible to buy candles again, and people began putting candles in their windowsills in the evening of the 4th of May. To this modern day, many Danes repeat this tradition to mark the liberation.
If you want to read more about the Liberation of Denmark, The Royal Danish Library have made a thorough portrayal of the period. Click the button below to access it.
Danes and Dannebrog
Photo: Palle Knudsen
The 16th of April marked the day of Denmark's recently abdicated queen Margrethe II's 84th birthday. Even if you don't follow royal news, you might have been confronted with the celebration of her majesty anyway. At tradition commands, the public-transport busses all over Denmark carried two small Danish flags on their roof. This tradition will come into effect once again when the newly crowned king Frederik X celebrates his 56th birthday on May 26. On the 5th of May, the beforementioned Liberation of Denmark is also celebrated by raising the Danish flag.

Although these two small flags might not seem particularly significant in and of themselves, they do tell a story of the very unique relationship that Danes have with their flag - Dannebrog.
The Story of Dannebrog
Supposedly the oldest flag in the world, Dannebrog is said to have fallen into existence all the way back in the 13th century. Legend says that on the 15th of June 1219, Dannebrog fell from the sky in Estonia. When the Danish king Valdemar the 2nd led a crusading attack against the non-Christian Estonians in 1219, legend has it that a red banner with a white cross floated through a great pool of thunder to change the fortunes of the battle at Lyndanisse. The red background symbolizes blood, and the white cross symbolizes purity. Thankfully, this rather violent symbolism has lost its impact and today the flag is mostly used in happy and celebratory instances.

Dannebrog means "Danish cloth" or "well-made material" and has been the symbol of Denmark since it fell from the sky. However, for the first centuries of its existence it was a symbol of the Danish Royal house and was only to be used by the King and his ships. It wasn't until 1854 that the Danes were allowed to use the flag in private and use it they did.
Flags Everywhere
Dannebrog has become an everyday symbol used by the Danes. In addition to official functions and ceremonies, Danes use their national flag for birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, advertisements, funerals and at many other occasions. Although the private use of the national flag might be relatively common in the other Nordic countries, like Norway and Sweden, the use and importance of the flag in Danish culture is probably unmatched.

Virtually everywhere you go in Denmark, Dannebrog will waver somewhere in your vicinity. The flag is used on incredible amounts of merchandise and decorations, and you can even find a small edition of it on the Danish Christmas tree. Almost every celebration has the flag represented in some shape or form. When people come home from longer journeys, their family or friends will greet them with waving Danish flags in the airport. In the celebration of life, birthdays the flag is flown, but also in the mourning of death, the Dannebrog has a part to play. At funerals, the flag is flown half-mast to show respect and humility. The general rule of thumb is that whenever there is something to celebrate, the red and white flag will be present.

There are a multitude of rules and traditions when it comes to the use of Dannebrog and if you want to know more about them, click the button below.
Danish Architecture
The iconic dragon spire of Børsen, Copenhagen Photo: Pierre Châtel-Innocenti
As many of you would have already heard, a historical, cultural, and architectural treasure went up in flames on the 16th of April. Børsen, simply translated as "the stock exchange", was designed by the van Steenwinckel brothers and was erected by King Christian IV in 1623. With its iconic dragon spire Børsen has been one of the most easily recognizable and cherished buildings in Copenhagen and has been a symbol of the architectural cultural heritage of Denmark, a heritage which has been carried on through the centuries. Export of Danish architecture and spatial design was 1.4 billion kr. in 2023 according to the Danish Trade Council, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
The History of Danish Architecture
Danish architecture traces its roots all the way back to Viking military encampments. Before we arrived in this era of modern architecture, the architectural tradition of Denmark has gone through Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque style. In the 21st century, Danish architecture has received international praise and Danish architectural companies have become a mainstay at the top of the design food-chain.

Being on the forefront of design is however not a new thing for Denmark. More than a thousand years ago, when Vikings roamed the European seas, both their ships and their remarkable circular ramparts have been deemed ahead of their time by excavators and historians.

When Harald Bluetooth turned Denmark towards Christianity in the 10th century, construction of churches followed. Around 1160, the brick was introduced to Denmark and one of Denmark's seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites was built, the Roskilde Cathedral. Another site, Kronborg Castle, was built some 300 years later in Helsingør. The renaissance castle was immortalized under the name of Elsinore in the famous play by William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Danish Architecture has a proud history, and its significance has not diminished with time. Today, architecture companies like Bjarke Ingels Group, C.F. Møller and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, receive international praise for projects both inside and outside Denmark's borders. In modern times, the most known and maybe most important building for the international recognition of Danish architecture, is the Sydney Opera House.
The Sydney Opera House
Widely regarded as one of the world's most famous and distinctive buildings and a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture, the Sydney Opera House is the most photographed building in the world. The iconic building opened to the public in 1973 but the story of the Sydney Opera House starts almost 20 years earlier in the hands of the Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

In 1957, Utzon unexpectedly won the competition to design Sydney's new opera house. His submission was one of 233 designs from over 30 countries, many of them from the biggest architects at the time. This was Utzon's first non-domestic project and one of the judges declared it as "genius" and "ahead of its time". Being ahead of its time did however not come without issues. The extraordinary structure of the shells that make out the roof of the building represented a puzzle for the engineers and it wasn't until 4 years later when Utzon himself came up with a solution. The construction of the building was plagued by many issues but since its completion it has become a symbol of both Sydney and Australia as a whole. In 2007 the building also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site cementing its position as one of the most important architectural sites in the world.
If this brief description hasn't quenched your architectural thirst, click the button below to read a thorough guide on the architecture of Denmark.
From Florida to Denmark
An Internship turned Permanent
This is the story of Dahlia Dry, an American from Florida who came to Denmark through her education at MIT in Boston.

Through the partner-program MIT-Denmark, Dahlia received an internship at TEGnology, a high-tech start up operating out of Søborg, north of Copenhagen. Dahlia arrived in Denmark in August 2023 and the rest is history. If you want to read that history, click the button below, which will take you to our article. Happy reading.
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Upcoming events for you
Elevate your LinkedIn Profile
How to brand yourself and have recruiters reaching out to you!
This webinar will cover 4 main areas;
  • Personal branding in a Danish context
  • Online networking - Why and How
  • Key elements of an impressive profile
  • How to influence how people see you
The webinar is online and will be held on the 7th of May, from 13:00 to 14:30. It is hosted by the City of Aarhus and is free of charge.
Job Interviews - How to Ace Them!
Preparation is key for you to shine through in your job interview!
This webinar will cover 5 main areas;
  • How to prepare for the interview
  • How to deliver effective responses
  • How to create dialogue
  • How to come across with authenticity
  • Practice makes perfect
The webinar is online and will be held on the 16th of May, from 10:00 to 11:30. It is hosted by the City of Aarhus and is free of charge
Buying Real Estate in Denmark
Are you interested in buying real estate in Denmark?

Take the first steps on your path to buying a new home in Denmark with information about the buying process, taxation, mortgages, insurance, etc.

International House Copenhagen will guide you through the process from start to finish on the 16th of May, from 17:00 at International House, Nyropsgade 1, 1602 Vesterbro.
Welcome to Denmark - Networking
This networking event is for you who are interested in a place for informal talk and experience exchange for not only internationals in Denmark, but for everyone!

There will also be free courses in English on various topics. The event is hosted by the municipality of Copenhagen and will take place on the 22nd of May, from 18:00 at Copenhagen main library, Krystalgade 15, 1172 Copenhagen C. The event is free of charge.
Career Fair at BLOXHUB
Dive into the future of sustainability, urban design and buildings at Bloxhub and Copenhagen Capacity's Career Fair, connecting international professionals in Denmark with visionary companies looking for innovative talent! Mark your calendar and be a catalyst for change.

The event will take place on the 23rd of May, from 13:00 to 17:00, at Bloxhub, Bryghusgade 8, 1473 Copenhagen C.

Candidate sign-up are open until the 14th of May.
Talk Danish Café
Do you want to improve your conversational Danish skills? The this event in Holstebro is for you!

HEADSTART hosts this event at Holstebro Library, Kirkestræde 13, 7500 Holstebro, one the 2nd of May, from 16:00 to 17:00. The event is free of charge and everyone is welcome - From newly arrived to internationals who have been here for years.

Networking Event in Herning
This is a networking event for internationals living and/or working in the Herning-area. The vent will focus on themes like "how did you end up here in the area" and understanding of the Danish culture.

The event is free of charge, hosted by Herning Municipality and will take place on the 14th of May, from 16:45 to 19:00 at Sportscenter Herning, Holingknuden 3, 7400 Herning.

Newcomers walk in Esbjerg
This is a city-tour of Esbjerg for newcomers! The walk will give you an overview of central Esbjerg, cultural venues and let you in on some of the history and development that Esbjerg has gone through.

The event is free of charge, hosted by New in Esbjerg and will take place on the 26th of May, from 14:00 to 16:00 and you will receive the starting point when you register. You are requested to register before the event.

Chat in Danish: Coffee & Art
Join Chat in Danish when we visit Café Nelle's in the beautiful Munke Mose. We will have a cup of coffee or tea, and a chat in Danish. Chat in Danish is a mized group of internationals and Danes meeting in an informal setting

The event is free of charge, hosted by International Community Odense, and will take place on the 5th of May, from 14:00 to 16:00 at Filosofgangen 30B, 5000 Odense.

Raising Kids in Denmark
Helen Russell takes you on a deep dive into the culture of the Nordic Nations. From gender equality to school structure, screen time, and the surprising customs that lead to happy, well-adjusted humans.

The event is hosted by International Community Odense and will take place on the 21st of May, from 17:30 to 20:00 at Campus Kollegiet, Campusvej 1, 5230 Odense M.

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If you are struggling to get an overview of everything Expat in Denmark has to offer, then go visit our website. Apart from being our platform for everything Expat in Denmark, it will also be a place for you to indulge in different content. Everything from communities with expats to earlier editions of the newsletter will be available to you.

Do you have a story that is relevant to this community? Then we encourage you to email us at; Maybe we can feature you, your story or your ideas in a future edition of the newsletter