I can't decide whether the bells are ringing more today or whether they always ring this much, but I am not normally home to hear them. I live across the street from a rather large church, so when the bells get going, they tend to be hard to ignore. Today it seems like they are being rung by a hyperactive monk with the memory of a goldfish. Crap, did I ring the bells? Better go ring them again. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ring the bells! Ring the bells!
So here we are, Christmas day in Copenhagen. I've been trying hard to get into the holiday spirit the last week, with rather limited success, I'm afraid. Although I have become a big fan of glögg - that is the traditional hot spiced red wine that Danes drink around Christmas. On Saturday, I went to the last day of the Nyhavn Christmas market. I perused the tat in the stalls, odd assemblies of random leather goods and animal skins, wool sweaters and viking regalia, not to mention the mystifying fairground-like collections of stuffed reindeer and santa clauses. Failing to find the inspiration I was looking for, I picked up a bag of roast chestnuts and went across the road to watch the ice skaters in Kongens Nytorv for a while.
For an atheist, I am, rather oddly, a big fan of Christmas. It's mostly because of the aesthetics - the scent of pine, the colors green and red, the association with sleighs and skates and snowball fights, a hint of vintage, a dash of goodwill towards fellow man, the feeling of tradition. Plus, no one ever pushes the whole religious aspect too hard, so it's easy to celebrate if you're a non-believer. It seems more akin to the worship of capitalism than any kind of omnipotent god, if we're honest. Which makes it the quintessential holiday for Americans, I suppose.
So yesterday I made my traditional Christmas roast duck, and today I'll do my just as traditional pierogi making from the leftovers. Perhaps it's impossible to truly feel the Christmas spirit when you are far away from everyone you love, but I am certainly going to give it my best try.
So merry Christmas, happy holidays, lovely Kwanza, joyous Ramadan, and a very happy Chanukkah (even though I think it's over).