Fastelavn

The Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C., celebrates Fastelavn on the last Sunday before Lent. The date is announced in Kirkebladet, in our calendar, and on the Families Mailing list. We begin with a family service, and the pastor may give us a sermon about how we by wearing masks and costumes may fool others and ourselves but that God can see through it all.

A brass band performing in the Sanctuary Children wearing costumes

After the service we go downstairs. First we have chili con carne; not that that’s particularly Danish but it’s a tradition in our church. For dessert we have fastelavnsboller, buns that are a lot better than just plain old buns.

Then the children beat the barrel, slår katten af tønden. All is forgotten about the cat being a symbol the devil and the symbolic yearly combat against all evil, for there’s candy in the barrel.

Beating the barrel Beating the barrel Beating the barrel Beating the barrel Beating the barrel Serving the buns. Eating. Steen in his black shirt wearing Dana's purple witch's hat and wig. Eating. Lining up for the barrel. Beating the barrel. Beating the barrel. Beating the barrel. Crowning of the 'Cat King.' Face painting.

The Sunday School Auxiliary, which hosts of Fastelavn’s Party, also makes fastelavnsris for the children so they can continue the festivities by whipping their parents out of bed Monday morning.