Lukas Graham‘s latest single is “Wish You Were Here,” but his loved ones won’t be saying that about him this Christmas because he’ll be spending the holiday in his home country of Denmark. However, he’s not a fan of one of the country’s unique holiday traditions.
“We have a rice porridge dessert. It’s a cold rice porridge that’s mixed with whipped cream and chopped almonds … and there’s this cherry sauce on top,” he tells ABC Audio. “There’s one whole almond that’s been hidden in a bowl or in the pot, and the person that finds the almond wins a present. It used to be a marzipan pig; it’s kind of evolved in some families into a present basket.”
However, he admits, “I hate this rice pudding. I never eat it! … everyone stuffs themselves with the Christmas dinner and then they keep stuffing themselves with this almond pudding to find the one whole almond.”
The tradition Lukas prefers is one that’s unique to his hometown of Christiania, a commune in Copenhagen: it’s called Christmas for the Christmasless.
“We serve Christmas dinner for 1,500 to 1,800 people every year — people who don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas,” he explains. The guest list includes everyone from “homeless people to … CEOs in Armani suits that are stuck in Copenhagen over Christmas and can’t go to their families.”
“I’ve done it since I was like 15, 16 with my dad. Since he passed away, I’ve done it with some friends of mine,” he adds. It’s a tradition he wants to pass on to his two daughters.
“I want my kids to see that … Christmas is about the giving, not the receiving of gifts,” he notes. “There was a very clever man that once told me: ‘Giving is a human need; therefore, receiving is mercy.'”
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