Join the masses and beat the barrel this Fastelavn!

Kids of all ages are keenly awaiting a special Danish celebration known as ‘Fastelavn’, which this year falls on February 7.

It is related to a Roman Catholic tradition of enjoying some fun and excess in the days before Lent.

Children dress up in fancy costumes to gather sweets and treats – much like Halloween.

The most notable tradition is hitting a barrel full of candy. In olden days it used to contain a cat!

The kids take turns to smash the barrel with a bat. The lucky one who bashes the barrel open is crowned the ‘Cat Queen’ while the one who tears the last piece of the barrel apart is crowned ‘Cat King’.

As the treats hit the ground, make sure you are ready to pick them up! (LAB)

Islands Brygge Culture House
Feb 7, 13:00-16:00; Islands Brygge Culture House, Islands Brygge 18, Cph S; free adm;
The fun activities will include hitting the barrel, awards for best costume and a ‘Tiger Training’ play concert at 3 pm. (LAB)

Circus fun
Feb 7, 10:00-15:00; Cirkus museet, Hovedporten 6, Hvidovre; free adm;
Treat your kids to creative circus workshops, fun with facepaint, beating the barrel and, last but not least, a performance by the children’s circus, Arcus. The whole day is free. (NØ)

Beating the barrel in Blågårds Plads
Feb 7, 11:00-13:00; Blågårds Plads, Cph N; Free adm
The program includes different workshops where the children can make their own masks, hats and hair decorations; free hot chocolate, coffee, tea, popcorn and cake; a stand where you can get your face painted; and, of course, the mandatory activity: beating the barrel, with special prices for the Cat Queen and the Cat King. (NØ)

Create your own costume
Feb 7, 11:00 workshop, 12:00 beating the barrel, 13:00 museum tour for children; Statens Museum for Kunst, Sølvgade 48, Cph K; free adm (limited number of spaces);
Take the kids to SMK where they can create their own masks and costumes with inspiration from the museum’s artwork. Afterwards the kids are taken on a tour around the museum and invited to beat the barrel. (NØ)