Eurovision 2014: 10 ways to have the perfect Danish party

Rip up your carpet, bring out the herring – but keep your clothes on, says Emma Kennedy

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Eurovision 2014: 10 ways to have the perfect Danish party
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1. FLY THE FLAG

Get yourself a Dannebrog, the national flag of Denmark. Danes love it and take every opportunity to wave small versions of it in as many faces as possible. If you’re particularly brave, you could try learning and singing the Danish national anthem. But good luck – there are two, and one has about a hundred verses 2 and could take days to complete. 

2. CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE

In terms of decor, you want everyone to be sitting in moulded plastic chairs. The Danes don’t understand carpets, so rip them up. You should also turn on every light in the house. Even if it's daytime. 

3. SHOW INSTANT GRATITUDE

If you’ve invited a Dane to your evening, they’ll likely bring a gift and will expect you to open it immediately, so don’t put it aside or later. Nor should you, on opening it, pull a face as if a horse has farted into your mouth. This is frowned upon. 

4. STOCK UP ON HERRING

Danes expect guests to try every single thing they’ve prepared to eat. They particularly love liver pâté and salted liquorice. Not necessarily at the same time. Every Dane also loves an open sandwich. They’re mad for them. Serve anything you want, as long as it’s on top of rye bread. Favourite toppings include pickled herring and beetroot, egg, more egg and meatballs. 

5. DRINK LIKE A DANE

Whatever alcohol you serve – Carlsberg or Schnapps are recommended – make sure you raise your glass to eye level and shout “SKOL!” very loudly. The preferred English phrase “Bottoms up!” is not considered appropriate in this context. And once you’ve had a few beers and want to start dancing round the room, try to do it in as quiet a manner as possible. Danes don’t care for a Billy Loudmouth. Any raucous behaviour will be greeted with a sharp stare or even a mild rebuke. 

6. NO INTERRUPTIONS

Don’t interrupt a Dane when they’re talking. They hate it. 

7. PRACTISE YOUR DANISH

If all else fails, just say “Tak!” a lot. (It means “Thanks”.) 

8. DRESS TO IMPRESS

Wear something appropriate, like a Viking helmet and a knitted jumper with a complex pattern – think Sarah Lund (from The Killing) and you can’t go wrong. Don’t host your party naked. That’s Swedish parties. It’s an easy mistake to make but it’s the sort of error your party won’t recover from. 

9. PLACE YOUR BETS

The Danes love a flutter at the bookies so if you’re like-minded, the smart money is on Armenia, with Sweden and Denmark following close behind. Having said that, watch out for Conchita Wurst singing for Austria, Ruth Lorenzo (from 2008’s X Factor) singing for Spain and the UK’s very own Molly, who’s got something of a belter tucked up her sleeve with Children of the Universe

10. SCANDI ALLIANCE

When it comes to voting, your choices are very clear. Your 12 points are going to Sweden. Your ten points are going to Norway. That’s it. There is no discussion on this. The end.

The Eurovision Song Contest is on tonight at 8:00pm on BBC1 and Radio 2