Santa Claus is coming to tow..er, Europe square on Saturday! As part of the ongoing weekend program for children on Advent at Europe square, everyone’s favorite chubby old white bearded keeper of the naughty and nice lists will take pictures with kids and teach them about Christmas traditions from United Kingdom and Iceland. That is why the only square with a 1000 hearts will smell like famous British Christmas pudding, almost as sweet as the kisses you might steal under the mistletoe corollas kids will learn how to make.
Mistletoe as a symbol of love (and stolen kisses) dates way back to the era of Norse mythology (read up on it, it’s a good story). Before that, Celtic druids have considered it a symbol of fertility due to its ability to blossom during the winter. Many cultures throughout the history have held the plant in high regard due to its unusual and healing properties, but it wasn’t until the servants in Victorian England started using it as a decoration they could afford during the winter, that it got its status as a Christmas decoration. Every time a male and female servant would pass under a mistletoe they would kiss for good luck. A berry would be plucked for each kiss until there were no more. The act was later adopted by the upper classes.
Santa is a cheery old guy, so he won’t mind telling kids about his Icelandic competition- the gnomes. Iceland’s Advent calendar has only thirteen days in it (unlike Croatia’s 24 days), symbolizing 13 gnomes that bring gifts to children in days leading up to Christmas. The kids will learn those and many more Christmas traditions from the UK and Iceland.
Don’t worry, grownups will have their fun as well. Starting on Sunday at 12 am, the Danish ambassador Anders Christian Hougaard will teach everyone about Danish Christmas traditions and how to prepare a traditional Christmas meal, starting with tasty smørrebrød (something like an ‘open’ sandwich) you’ll be able to try on Europe square. You’ll be able to enjoy (and learn about) Danish traditional meals throughout the week, try out their best beers and glogg (the north does like to have more punch to their mulled wine, trust us).
Children’s program will be held on Saturday from 11am to 1pm. All events are open and free to attend.