Christmas starts early in Denmark. Preparations for the most festive celebration in December starts in July as numerous Santa Claus, the main father figure of Christmas, and their helpers meet up in the country’s capital city.
This event that takes place every summer is known as the Father Christmas & Christmas Elves Congress or the World Santa Claus Congress. During this yearly gathering at the Bakken Amusement Park in Copenhagen, Santa Claus representatives from Europe, the U.S., Canada and Japan come together dressed in their red suits to discuss various issues for 3 to 4 days. Some of the issues they take up are ways to improve the rooftop parking conditions, stronger ropes for roof-elves, weight regulations for Santas and standards of cleaning the chimney where Santa Claus is known to pass through when visiting houses in Christmastime. Previous topics taken up were international taxation rules regarding presents, the size of official Santa spoons and the exact date of delivery of Christmas gifts. As to the weight issue, there was a time that the Santas rode in their bicycles as a way of showing people that they don’t ignore their health.
It was in 1957 when the first Father Christmas congress was held. Danish artist and entertainer Professor Tribini was credited for organizing the event in realization of his dream of gathering the world’s Santas for fun activities during the summer season. Initially, only the Santas from Denmark and Sweden attended the event but through the years, representatives from other countries were encouraged to join as well. In 2009, an estimated 100 Santas from 10 different countries attended the congress.
The Father Christmas Congress does not focus solely on serious discussions of matters affecting Santa Claus. Of course, there are fun activities as well as charity work that they take part in. There are stage performances, Christmas cake baking and storytelling sessions for children. The highlight of the event is the traditional parade around the Copenhagen city center.