Christmas in Denmark is a significant time of year and two public holidays are provided as part of the festivities, on Christmas Day and the day afterward.
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The Christmas season in Denmark extends from at or near the beginning of December and runs to 26 December or even into January. It is a mid-winter season of cheer that lasts for approximately one month.
Around three-quarters of Danes belong to the Church of Denmark. Nonetheless, Denmark is a very secularised nation. This was revealed startlingly in a 2010 survey that showed only 28 percent of Denmark’s population believed in the existence of God. However, Danes continue to participate in and enjoy the Christmas season regardless of their religious leanings, for it is ingrained in the culture and is as much about feasting and family gatherings as anything else.
In spite of the secularism, however, around a third of Danes attend special church services on or around Christmas. The Christmas Eve service is normally at 4pm and is a time to listen again to the Biblical Christmas story. Services are also held on Christmas Day and on 26 December.
The main festive meal is dinner on Christmas Eve. The feast is large indeed, involving such dishes as turkey, duck, goose, roast pork, potatoes and gravy, cabbage, rice pudding, and much more. After dinner, it is time to open the presents and sing around the Christmas tree, followed by yet more snacking.