Jumping in the New Year in Copenhagen
Copenhagen has a number of unique events to celebrate the new year, including Tivoli Christmas market, the Queen’s Speech, Fireworks, and general festive cheer across the city. In addition to the main Fireworks show, generally around 11 pm, residents set off fireworks throughout the evening, with large private shows at midnight.
To start off the night, we set out to watch the Queen, Margrethe II of Denmark, speak at 6pm. I’ll admit, when I initially heard about a yearly speech, the American in me pictured thousands of people gathered in a square outside a castle, with a queen speaking from a balcony. But, unlike the movies, the speech is broadcast on TV, generally from a castle outside the city that the Royal Family spends the holidays at. Most Danish people stay home to watch the speech with their families before dinner, but it’s also commonly shown in bars. Prior to 6pm, we found a bar near Central Station & Tivoli that promised to not only play the speech with audio, but they’d also set up Closed Captioning. We gathered, grabbed our Tuborg Christmas, and settled in to watch an epic speech. Again, reality kicked in, and we watch a very magnificent queen speak to her people in Danish, with Danish subtitles. We just made a game out of pretending to translate (I’m pretty sure she declared war on Sweden, but perhaps I was a bit wrong.)
After the speech, most people stay home for dinner and pre-gaming drinks, before heading out to the main fireworks show at Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli has a fireworks festival at the end of every December, with nightly displays from December 25-31. The fireworks are visible from a large area in the city center so you won’t have to be in a crowd at all. Bring a bottle of champagne, find a bridge over the water to watch from, and enjoy!
Post fireworks, we found a cozy pub to spend the evening in. Though most locals return home after the fireworks to drink there and save $$ before going out late, we ran into a number of people enjoying the pubs as well (and tourists.) Confusingly, at 11:45, the employees came around and explained that they were closing. A bit of a translation gap, but we eventually realized that they simply wanted to go outside for midnight – and the epic tradition of jumping into the new year.
All the customers, and staff began to slow out of the pub, with those in the know dragging chairs with them. As New Years hit, everyone jumped from their chairs into the new year, and lit fireworks across the city. Our pub was right in a little square that was filled with people from all the other establishments, and the fireworks were almost bigger than the public display earlier in the evening. A few minutes late, but we also jumped into the near year from a bench.