Christmas Eve at AU saved at the very last minute

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The traditional Christmas Eve at AU was hanging by a thread until last Tuesday. Studenterhus Aarhus, who hold the event, could not get permission to use one of the university’s kitchens to warm the Christmas dinners in. But there will still be Christmas for AU’s students – just not at the university itself.

2017.12.18 | Marie Groth Andersen

The traditional Christmas Eve at AU was hanging by a thread until last Tuesday. Photo: Colourbox.com

Christmas Eve at AU

The event takes place in FO-Aarhus' premises at Frederiksgade 78C, 8000 Aarhus C.

All students are welcome, regardless of their cultural and religious background.    

Participation costs DKK 100. The event includes food and drink and a gift per person.    

Programme:

  • 14:00: Mulled wine, Danish Christmas doughnuts (æbleskiver), confectionary and clementines    
  • 16:00: Christmas church service at Møllevangs Church, for those those who wish    
  • 18:00: Traditional Danish Christmas dinner followed by the dance (and carol singing) around the Christmas tree    
     

For several years, it has been traditional for the Studenterhus Aarhus to hold a traditional Danish Christmas Eve for both Danish and international students who – for one reason or another – will not be celebrating Christmas together with their family. But this year it looked for a long time as if Christmas Eve would be cancelled at AU, explains Anne Thorø Nielsen, head of the Studenterhus Aarhus.

"We haven't been able to get permission to borrow a kitchen or just an oven at AU, because there will not be a trained caterer present at the event." 

The first few years, one of the Studenterhus foundation’s employees offered to take charge of the food in the kitchen in Stakladen. But in recent years the employees have been unable to undertake the task on Christmas Eve.

Hygiene regulations get in the way

"We have also considered having food that could be put in the refrigerator on 22 December so it just had to be heated up again. But that was not a proper solution as we’re talking about food for a hundred people. Last year we choose to eat cold food, so things have really just been going downhill as far as the food is concerned year by year," she says.

And this year things looked really bleak because the hygiene regulations prevented the Studenterhus Aarhus from even getting access to the cafeteria kitchens at AU when the catering staff were not present. 

"Of course we understand that there are hygiene regulations that must be observed. We’ve also found them willing to help, but it’s simply not been possible to find a solution at AU," explains Nielsen.

The solution was to move the event to FO Aarhus (FO stands for ‘Folkeoplysning’ and it is an organisation that provides adult education courses, ed.) and its premises at Frederiksgade in Aarhus.

"We finally got everything into place last Tuesday. So there will be a Christmas Eve for the students – just not at AU. Fortunately, we have a couple of Danish students who have catering experience and will take care of the Christmas dinner," says Nielsen.

Last year, around one hundred international and Danish students celebrated Christmas Eve at AU, and around the same number are expected this year.  

Translated by Peter Lambourne

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