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Fastelavn / Shrovetide / lent

February 10, 2013

fastelavnstønde barrel

fastelavn shrovetide Denmark

“Fastelavn”, an old Danish tradition translatet as “Shrovetide” , – I´m not familiar with this word and don´t know if it explain correct. This day was the last day before 40 days with lent (faste), ending at the start of easter. Today Fastelavn is celebrated by children with a carnival, and a competition in making a wooden barrel fall into pieces so to say, called “slå katten af tønden”, which  in translation is something like “beat the cat out of the barrel”. It is told that there was a cat inside in the old days. The barrel is filled with candy and oranges, the one who break the barrel will be called cat-queen,  the one who remove the last piece of wood will be cat king. Beside the honour, they will get a crown.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2013 7:15 pm

    Wow…. a Danish Pinata! How cool is that 😉 What a cool story behind that tradition.

    • February 17, 2013 3:25 pm

      The Pinata is a relatively new thing to use for festive occasions, I have seen it once at a childrens birthday, and you are right, it reminds a lot about the lent tradition we have, though breaking a wooden barrel is a bit more brutal thing to do, – and has to be done outside, because the bat often are lost.. 🙂

  2. flatkathy2012 permalink
    February 10, 2013 7:18 pm

    That is fascinating! I’m relieved to hear there are no cats inside that barrel, though!

    • February 17, 2013 3:01 pm

      Not anymore, today they are made out of paper. The cat was symbol of dark forces, mysterious and not so easy to figure out.

      • February 24, 2013 3:09 pm

        Well, Miss Tuffy-Cat is very relieved to hear that you no longer put real cats inside those barrels…

        By the way, she agrees that she is ‘mysterious’ and ‘not so easy to figure out’. 😉

  3. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm permalink
    February 11, 2013 4:33 am

    Thank you so much for story

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