Arts Culture Travel

J-Day: A Danish drinking holiday

Looking for something to celebrate this evening?
Why not do as the Danes do and celebrate J-Day?

So what is J- Day? Well, you won’t find it on any official calendar for Danish events or holidays, but it is certainly a big one for Danes. J-Day is a celebration of yes – you’ve guessed it, drinking. And it all gets underway tonight at precisely 8.49pm.

It was started way back in 1990 when Danish brewing company Tuborg produced a commercial for the release of its annual Christmas beer, known as Julebryg. Since then it has grown in popularity and unlike a lot of these big drinks promotions it seems to be most popular with the locals. There was a similar event held in Ireland called Arthur’s Day, which celebrated Guinness, but it tended to be a lot more popular with tourists rather than the more cynical locals who really didn’t need an official day to enjoy a drink. The event was eventually scrapped after numerous complaints by anti-binge drinking groups and NGO’s.

If you happen to be in Denmark on J-Day, you’ll be confronted with specially-decorated trucks handing out free beer while all along the phrase ‘Glædig jul og godt Tub’år’, a play off the Danish phrase for Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, rings out and appears on promotional tee-shirts.

J-Day does have its critics with many asking if Denmark really does need a commercially based idea about alcohol consumption being advertised as a holiday. But whatever the feelings on this, it’s probably going to be one hell of an evening in Denmark, so while we at Europa United raise a glass to J-Day, we say take it easy and above all, drink in moderation… even if it is for free.

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