This year the “Fastelavn”, the Danish tradition of Shrovetide, was held at the Church of Christ in Thailand in Ratchathevi on Sunday, 3 March 2019 with the collaboration between Dansk Kirke Thailand, Danes Worldwide, Danish Women’s Network and Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce.
With around 40 attendees, the festival took place to celebrate the days before Lent. Traditionally known for its thrilling festive fun, the Fastelavn Fest communicated the historical background of the festival to attendees, while at the same time mesmerized the children and their parents with fun activities and games, especially the barrel whacking.
The Fastelavn Fest tarted with a speech by Christa Lund Herum, a Danish priest in Bangkok. She gave a warm welcome to all participants and invited them to pray as a beginning of church services. In her speech, Christa mentioned about the meaning of Fastelavn and the reason why it is important to Danish people.
For the Dane, Fastelavn was used as an annual celebration (the evening before the feast) and as time passed, some processes during the Fastelavn may have changed but the common activities still generally involve the children dressed up in their favorite costumes and Slå katten af tønden (hit the cat out of the barrel) which is a traditional Danish-style pinata game.
After the church services, there was a musical performance by Yasmin Kierkegaard and Jakob Dinesen, well-known Danish Jazz singer and saxophonist. Yasmin invited people to join singing a Danish popular children’s song called Fastelavn er mit navn and led the crowd to another room where the party took place.
At the party, the parents were exchanging their conversations and enjoying their hot dogs and Fastelaven søndag, a Danish cream bun, while the children were trying to win the prizes sponsored by various well-known Danish companies in Thailand.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for – The Slå katten af tønden which began around 2pm. Children raced outside where the candy-filled barrel awaited. Though the outside of the barrel was painted with images of cats, the children were fully aware that the win for this game was actually various kinds of candies.
After 30 minutes of hard work, the “king of cats” who managed to break the barrel was Mr. Poop, a young kid dressed up in probably the most eye-catching costume at the event. And it was him, too, that snatched the “best costume” award for the Fastelavn Fest this year. One could say that the judges’ decision was unanimous!
Check out the moment the barrel was knocked down from the video below: