So here is finally the wave of blog posts I managed to put off thanks to exams buuuuut better late than never! P.S. I’m FREE!
When I first heard I was going to be studying in Aarhus this time last year, I did the classic search through of #aarhus on Instagram. It was then that I was greeted with what I now know is Kapsejladsen.
Kapsejladsen is what I would call the ‘Alcoholics Version of Cambridge vs Oxford’ but literally translated it is “The Race” (I much prefer my title). It takes place on the first Friday of May (very convenient for Friday bar) and it is your classic university race with a twist. The Danish twist. What makes it Danish? The fact that it is one super elaborate drinking game. The Danes love their beer! Each team member must row across the lake down a beer, spin around said beer bottle ten times before jumping back in their boat to pass the baton on. And as we all know, dizziness and alcohol always go well together. I am actually lucky enough to be staying in the accommodation right behind the park where this all takes place. Therefore, for weeks – months even – I have been able to see all the faculty teams training hard to win. They do take it very seriously after all!
This event is extremely popular in Denmark, it even gets televised. While I had breakfast with some friends before arriving at the park at 9am, some people show up in the early hours to get a good spot to watch: we are talking 3am people! The race itself doesn’t even begin until the afternoon so it is fair to say that people are keen. But the race is not everything people come to see. The event is also surrounded by other features including the intro shows and the naked run. Since being in Denmark, I have learnt how much more liberal people here are with their bodies compared to the UK. It is very refreshing. Go skinny dipping in the sea: alright! Run naked around a park with an audience of over 30,000 people: hell yeah! While I can guarantee that it is something I could never do, I have huge, huge respect for those people who take part.
All in all, it’s a day to kick back with your friends, enjoy the festivities, drink, drink, drink and wave your Danish flag! We were incredibly lucky, the weather was amazing and the abundance of cheap beer was meant for a long chill day in the park. I am so glad I was able to experience one of Aarhus’ finest traditions and experience it with some great people too!