Restart in 2023 of Christmas Banquet in Grey Hall, Christiania, Copenhagen after 3 years Corona lockdown

 

Genstart af Juleløses Jul i Grå Hal, Christiania, Christianshavn, København efter 3 års Corona nedlukning.

 

 

 

 

 

Text and photos Erik K Abrahamsen, 24. December 2023

 

 

 

 

Christmas Banquet 2023 in Grey Hall, Christiania, Christianshavn, Copenhagen with more than 1000 free invited guests:

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Christmas banquet 2023, Grey Hall, Christiania, Christianshavn, Copenhagen. View in direction to entrance, kitchen and free meal serving area. Photo 24. dec 2023 at 6 PM by Erik K Abrahamsen.

 

Since 1980 Christiania has given a free invitation to join their Christmas banquet in Grey Hall, Christiania. Every christmas since, on eve 24. December more than 1000 visitors arrive in Grey Hall to celebrate and eat dinner, enjoy music, choir and to hear the evangelic good news of the birth of Jesus Christ.

On 11. march 2020 the danish government closed Denmark down coused by The Corona Epidemic. Therefore The Christmas Banquet in Grey Hall, Christiania was cancelled in the years 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2023 Christiania has decided to reopen their Christmas Banquet tradition.

 

I live permanently in my summerhouse 60 km north of Copenhagen since 2012 and close to Kattegat Sea. This Christmas Day sunday 24. December 2023 is cold, windy and rainy. I drive to Christianshavn quarter in Copenhagen and at 4 pm I attend the Christmas service in Our Saviour Church located 300 meter from entrance to Christiania.

Our Saviour Church, built 1684-92 in style baroque by architect Lamberts  van Havens with a 90 m high twisted tower created in 1751 by Lauritz de Thurah:

Vor Frelsers Kirke, Christianshavn, København on Christmas Service 24. december 2023:

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Vor Frelsers Kirke, Christianshavn, København on christmas service the 24. december 2023. Foto by Erik K Abrahamsen.

 

After the Christmas service I walk 300 meter to entrance of Grey Hall in Christiania and I arrive at 5.15 pm to join the more the 100 meter long queue of guests to the Christmas Banquet 2023.

 

Invitation folder given to all guests at arrival to Grey Hall – with text of 3 popular danish Christmas songs for community singing  with all guests at 7.45 pm:

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Folder delivered at arrival to Grey Halle. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Entrance to Grey Hall:

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Entrance to Grey Hall, Christiania. Photo 24. December 2023 at 5.15 pm by Erik K Abrahamsen.

When we walk through the gates of Grey Hall we are all applaused of about 100 volunteers clapping in theirs hands:

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Grey Hall. Entrance. Volunteers welcome the guests to Christmas banquet 2023, Photo 24. dec 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen.

Grey Hall, Christiania.

At entrance volunteers welcome the guests to Christmas banquet 2023:

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Grey Hall. Entrance. Volunteers welcome the guests to Christmas banquet 2023, Photo 24. dec 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen.

Grey Hall, Christiania.

At entrance volunteers welcome the guests to Christmas banquet 2023:

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Grey Hall. Volunteers greeting the guests of Christmas banquet 2023. Photo 24. December 5.30 pm. by Erik K Abrahamsen.

 

Shedule for christmas banquet 2023 – PART 1-4:

5 – 6 pm: Arrival, getting seated and soft music and song on main scene

6 -7.30 pm: volunteers serve free dinner to all more than 1000 people

7.30 – 8.00 pm: The Christmas Gospel read by priest from local Christiania Church and The Christiania Volunteers Choir and community singing

8.00 pm – to after midnight: Entertainment and song and music from main scene

 

PART 1.

5 – 6 pm:

Arrival, getting seated and soft music and song on main scene – LIGHT BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN and RED from spotlights all evening and night.

Volunteers are helping all guests to find a place at the more than around 20 up to 20 meters long tables.

View from entrance, kitchen and serving area  in direction to the scene:

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Christmas banquet 2023. Getting seated and waiting for serving dinner. Photo from entrance, kitchen and serving area  in direction to the scene 24. dec 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen.

Christmas banquet 2023.

View in direction to the scene at right and Children Family Area at left in background:

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Christmas banquet 2023.
View in direction to the scene at right and family area at left in background. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

View in direction to Children Family Area in background:

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View in direction to family area in background. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

View from Scene area in direction to entrance, kitchen and meal serving area in background:

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View from Scene area in direction to entrance, kitchen and meal serving area in background. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

View from Scene area in direction to entrance, kitchen and meal serving area in background:

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View from Scene area in direction to entrance, kitchen and meal serving area in background. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

PART 2.

6 -7.30 pm: volunteers serve free dinner to all more than 1000 people – each table with around 50 guests are called separated up to the dinner serving area.

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Christmas banquet 2023. Serving 2 meals begin at 6 pm. View in direction to entrance, kitchen and meal serving area. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

Dinner served – guests waiting in the queue lines:

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Dinner served – guests waiting in queue lines. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Music and songs on the scene while serving two different meals – one with meat or/and one vegetarian:

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Christmas banquet. Music on the scene under the dinner. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Free meals to more than 1000 guest´s donated by private donators:

We can choose between a vegetarian meal or/and a meal with pork, ox and duck.

Its excellent food with a lot of vegetables and brown and white potatoes with danish classical source.

Dessert: rice pudding with cherry sauce and home made chocolates and marzipan confect with tea and coffee.

 

Serving of a meal with pork, ox or/and duck.

Dinner serving to the meat line:

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Dinner serving to the meat line. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

Dinner serving to the meat line:

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Serving dinner to the meat line. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Dinner serving to the meat line:

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Serving to the meat line. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Dinner serving to the meat line:

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Serving to the meat line. Photo 24. December 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen

Serving the vegetarian dinner:

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Serving og the vegetarian meal. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Serving the vegetarian dinner:

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Serving vegetarian meals. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Serving the vegetarian dinner:

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Serving vegetarian meals. Photo 24. December 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen

Serving dinner to the vegetarian line:

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Serving vegetarian dinner. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Christmas dinner in Grey Hall. View I direction to main scene:

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Christmas dinner in Grey Halle. View I direction to main scene. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

I eat a delicious vegetarian meal with white danish potatoes as supplement at a long table together with young people from Mexico, Guatemala and France. A girl and boy from Central America have both worked since 5 years in Denmark as professionel cooks on a restaurant and a community home of senior citizens serving danish meals.

The boy, Laurant and girl, Sarah in  their mid-twenties from France tells me that they arrived yesterday from Sweden by bikes. What?, I asked them. Why from Sweden? In wintertime? And here is their story in short. In September 2023 they left their hometown Grenoble to ride on bicycle in direction east through Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan to their destination The Mongolia Republic. And home through Russia, Finland and Sweden to Copenhagen visiting the danish capital for 5 days before leaving by train through Germany to their homes in Grenoble in south of France. They were both happy with a lot of energy and enjoyed their bike 3-4 months holiday ride and love to experience this Christmas banquet 2023 in Grey Hall, Christiania.

Laurant and Sarah at Christmas banquet 2023 in Grey Hall, Christiania.

The 2 ride bikers to Mongolia and return. At left Laurant and at right Sarah, both from Grenoble in France:

The 2 ride bikers to Mongolia and return. At left Laurant and at right Sarah, both from Grenoble in France. Photo 24. december 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen
The 2 ride bikers to Mongolia and return. At left Laurant and at right Sarah, both from Grenoble in France. Photo 24. december 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen

 

Close to the music scene is a separated area for children with families:

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View to children with families area. Photo 24. December 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen

View in direction to dinner serving area from inside children with families area:

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View from inside children with families area. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Music and songs on the scene while serving two different meals to more than 1000 guests:

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Families enjoy the music and songs at the scene as neighbor to “children wit families area” Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

After the main meals are served and eat up:

PART 3.

7.30 – 8.00 pm:

The christmas gospel from New Testament of LUKE, Chapter 2 verses 1-14, read by priest from local Christiania Church and The Christiania Volunteers Choir and community singing:

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Reading the Gospel by local priest and singing by local Volonteers Choir together with community songs. Photo 24. December 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen

The Christiania Volunteers Choir and community singing with the text from folder given at arrival with  danish text of 3 popular christmas songs:

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Folder with danish text of 3 Christmas songs. Photo 24. December 2024 by Erik K Abrahamsen.

 

After the community singing of 3 danish Christmas songs its time for dessert, cakes, marzipan and tea/ coffee.

Dessert: rice pudding with cherry sauce and home made chocolates and marzipan confect with tea and coffee:

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Kitchen area. Serving rice pudding with cherry sauce. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

Kitchen area – Serving rice pudding with cherry sauce:

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Serving rice pudding with cherry sauce to the desset line. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen

PART 4.

8.00 pm – to after midnight:

Entertainment and song and music from main scene.

Program of artists and music bands:

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Program for evening and night of artist and music bands. Photo 24. December 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen.

Music on main scene 8 pm:

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Music on main scene at 8 pm. Photo 23. December 2023 by Erik K Abrahamsen.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my experience of celebrating my Christmas 2023 in Grey Hall, Christiania together with more than 1000 free invited guests full of love, joy and freedom.

Thanks to main sponsor “MAERSK McKinney Møller Foundation” of Christmas Banquet 2023 in Grey Hall, Christiania.

 

 

Text and photos Erik K Abrahamsen 2024

All rights reserved

 

 

 

Enjoy life – be happy!

 

 

 

Melby, North Sealand 6. January 2024

Best wishes

Erik

 

 

Exstra:

Prospectus for Christmas service at sunday 24. December 2023 in Our Saviour Church, Christianshavn, Copenhagen:

Priest on both services at 2 pm and 4 pm: Marlene Lindsten.

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Priest Marlene Lindsten on Pulpet Our Saviour Church, Copenhagen. Christmas 24. December 2023 4 pm.Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen
Prospectus. Christmas service 24. December 2023 I Our Saviour Church, Copenhagen. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.
Prospectus. Christmas service 24. December 2023 I Our Saviour Church, Copenhagen. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.
Prospectus. Christmas service 24. December 2023 I Our Saviour Church, Copenhagen. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.
Prospectus. Christmas service 24. December 2023 I Our Saviour Church, Copenhagen. Photo by Erik K Abrahamsen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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