“Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle” – Robert Anthony
I arrived in Copenhagen on a Friday evening to what seemed like a citywide carnival. There was a lot of lively movement, loud noises and shouting plus music coming from all directions. I soon identified the source of the racket. A colourful truck with horns blaring and about fifteen people in sailors’ hats, their heads hanging over the sides of the truck, drinks in hands, drove past. This was followed by another not long afterwards. And then another. My first thought was that maybe someone was celebrating their hen/stag night, but as more and more trucks drove by as I continued on my way to the hotel, I concluded that this is perhaps how the Copenhagenites party on a Friday night.
After a short rest at the hotel, I set off in search of food. It was a pretty cold evening for the end of June, but the city was vibrant and alive with revellers. I was spoilt for choice when it came to places to eat, but in the end I settled for a Chinese restaurant near City Hall Square. I know, I know. I went all the way to Denmark to have Chinese food I hear you exclaim! To make up for my failings I went to the dessert restaurant two doors down and had the most amazing Danish waffles. Then I walked around aimlessly for the rest of the evening just taking in the sights.
On my way back to the hotel I came across what I found to be a very bizarre event taking place. By one of the fountains in the square, a group of young people were singing and dancing having alighted from their truck. After a few minutes they proceeded to rolling their trousers up before jumping in the fountain and continuing dancing around in the water. But it didn’t end there. Soon they were taking their clothes off and playing around in the water. Some were completely k naked, leaving the tourists standing around witnessing this strange practice with mouths agape. I could not believe what I was seeing. I just stood there asking myself why anyone in their right mind would jump into a fountain in the middle of town whilst stark naked. But I guess they were not in their right minds as they seemed intoxicated and high.
When I returned to the hotel I went straight online and Googled this strange celebration. It turns out that it is an annual event. Apparently every year, thousands of students take to the streets in trucks decorated with Danish flags, balloons, banners, signs and sometimes trees and flowers too, to celebrate their graduation. They set off in the morning and drive randomly through the streets of Copenhagen, in white sailor like hats or the “student’s cap” as it is locally known, beeping the horns of their vehicles, playing loud music, cheering and waving and generally having a blast. What a way to celebrate the end of High School. That night I dreamt of trucks and loud music.