10 things you didn't know about Denmark

Denmark is one of the happiest places on Earth.

When international surveys ask citizens around the world how happy they are with their daily lives and personal circumstances, Denmark always comes in among the top three happiest countries in the world. But what makes the Danes so happy? Is it the tuition-free access to high-quality education, or the no-fee public health care? Is it the relative lack of crime and corruption, or just plain Danish hygge?

According to the World Happiness Report, happiness is closely linked to social equality and community spirit - and Denmark does well on both. Denmark has a high level of equality and a strong sense of common responsibility for social welfare. Even though there are nine major political parties in Denmark, none of them seriously supports dismantling the Danish welfare state. 

There are twice as many bikes as cars

There are 675,000 bicycles and just 120,000 cars in Copenhagen, meaning bikes outnumber cars by more than five-to-one. So it's perhaps not so surprising that in 2016 more bikes crossed the city than cars for the first time since records began in 1970 – a real milestone.

Lego's was invented in Billund Denmark (I lived in Billund for 3 years)

The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891–1958), a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932 but he soon realized that Lego's was the most popular one. The LEGO name is put together from Danish words "leg godt" which means play well. This motto, which is still used today, was created by Christiansen to encourage his employees never to skimp on quality, a value he believed in strongly.

Storyteller Hans Christensen Andersen come from Denmark

Usually called H.C. Andersen, was a Danish author. You know him from his famous fairy tales. He wrote 156 stories across 9 volumes and they are translated into more than 125 languages. The most known are:

"The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." 

The Danish flag is the oldest in the world

The flag is red and white and has the Scandinavian cross. The flag origin dates back to a battle in 1219, the Danes were on the defensive when suddenly a red banner with a white cross fell from the sky. As a result, the luck changed, the Danish army won, and Denmark got its flag. We use the flag for birthdays in all sizes. The flags are on our cakes, tables and if we have one we raise a big flag in the backyard.

Walt Disney took inspiration from Denmark Tivoli 

It's no wonder that Tivoli is the inspiration behind Walt Disney's famous park because Tivoli which is located in the heart of Copenhagen is the second oldest amusement park in the world. The park was created when Tivoli's founder Georg Carstensen obtained a five-year charter to create Tivoli. The oldest amusement park is also in Denmark it's called Dyrehavsbakken which dates back to 1583.

Salty licorice a favorite - The saltiest licorice in the world from Denmark

Think about salty candy and then times it with 10! Danish people love their salty licorice. The liquorice is a confectionery made from the extracts of licorice plant roots. Usually, this extract is mixed with sugar to produce a soft, chewy, and sweet candy. Now, Danish licorice is salty, which is why it is quite off-putting to most foreigners, who are not used to the specific taste. The salty taste comes from ammonium chloride, with which the liquorice is flavored. Salty liquorice is also popular in other Nordic countries, like Sweden, and is often called “salmiak”. Apart from the chewy variety, you can also find hard candy bonbons called “Tyrkisk Peber” (Turkish pepper), which can have a certain spiciness.

Denmark have a monarchy 

We have a monarchy in Denmark our queen just had her 81st birthday and she is still active in all of her duties. 

Denmark has some of the best bakeries in the world

The Danish baked goods are among some of the best in the world after my opinion. If you go to Denmark make sure you stop by the bakeries. Their morning bread similar to bagels (rundstykker) are out of this world. The Danish bread you know in the state doesn't start to compare the real ones made by a danish baker so if you like those just wait until you try the real one. The bread is always freshly baked on the day. There are a few Danish bakeries in the states and you can look them up. There are 3 of these bakeries located in New York check them out here "Ole & Steen"

Hygge

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. As a cultural category with its sets of associated practices hygge has more or less the same meanings in Danish and Norwegian, but the notion is more central in Denmark than in Norway. Hygge didn't originate in the Danish language but in old Norwegian, where it meant something like "well-being." It first appeared in Danish writing around the end of the 18th Century and the Danes have embraced it ever since.