As the World Cup clashes for the first time with a Danish Christmas tradition that has been an annual event in the region for nearly 50 years, this year’s celebration will take on a football theme.
Denmark and France’s big match will be screened live on TV during the Scandinavian Christmas Market on Saturday 26 November.
Radio Humberside called Charlotte Theill as a pundit when Denmark reached the Euro semi-finals in 2021, only to lose to England. She manages the Danish Church/Nordic House.
She said: “We Danes are very proud of our national football team and when the World Cup fixtures were announced we knew we just had to make the game part of our annual Scandinavian Christmas Market.
“Denmark is the only team from Scandinavia to have qualified for these World Cup finals and a lot of the people working at our event will want to watch the match. Similarly, many of the people coming to the market will want to see it.
“Some of them travel considerable distances – Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool – and have been coming here since we launched the market in the 1970s. We don’t want them having to leave early to watch the football or – worse still – staying at home in the first place!”
There will be a Scandinavian Christmas Market on Ferensway and Osborne Street in Hull from 11am to 5pm on Sunday. Danish hot dogs and beer will be served until the game’s conclusion at 4 p.m.
In addition to herring, cheeses, pickles, sweets, biscuits and cakes, Charlotte and the volunteers have received special imports from Denmark. A festive Scandinavian theme will also be present with candles, decorations, and ornaments.
In addition to providing Scandinavian food such as open sandwiches, layer cake and coffee, the volunteers will also present at the Captain’s Table.
Ticket prices are only £1, and all proceeds are used to maintain the building. Despite being consecrated in 1871, the first Danish church in Hull was bombed in 1941. As a venue for community, cultural, and business events, the building was originally constructed in 1954 and still holds a few services every year.
Emma Hardy, the MP for Hull West and Hessle, recently hosted a Big Conversation meeting there. Heritage Open Days also featured it.
Charlotte said: “We still have a few church services but we have created the Nordic House brand to broaden the range of what we do and we hope the market will help to raise awareness of that. With Nordic House we hope to be able to strengthen the already close relations between the Humber and the Scandinavian countries, something which is more important today than ever.
“Usually people are queueing down the street when we open the doors. The last time we did a two-day event was in 2019 and the following year we couldn’t invite guests inside so we took orders online and people were able to come and collect them.
“Last year we resumed with a one-day market and we are doing that again this year. It takes more effort to organise and to source the products than it used to before Brexit came along but hopefully we can build up to two days again because people love the atmosphere and many of them see it as the start of their Christmas.
“The volunteers help us set everything up during the week before the market and then run the stalls on the day and we would not be able to do it without them.”
The Danish Church/Nordic House at 01482 225469 can provide more information about the Scandinavian Christmas Market.
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