“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 loud music and shouting coming from all directions. Soon I was acquainted with the source of the racket. A colourful truck, with horns blaring and about fifteen people in sailors hats, with their heads hanging over the sides and drinks in the hands drove past. It was followed by another not long after. I thought maybe someone was celebrating their hen/stag night but as more and more drove by as I continued my walk towards the hotel, I concluded that this is perhaps how the Copenhagenites party on a Friday night.
After a short rest at the hotel, I met up with my sister who was joining me for the weekend and we set off for a walk in search of food. It was a pretty cold evening for the end of June but the city was vibrant and alive with revelers. We were spoilt for choice when it came places to eat, in the end we settled for a Chinese restaurant near City Hall Square. I know, I went all the way to Denmark to have Chinese food. To make up for it we went to the dessert restaurant two doors down and had the most amazing Danish waffles. We walked around aimlessly for the rest of the evening just taking in the scenes around us.
On the way back towards the hotel we arrived at what I found to be a very bizarre event taking place. By one of the fountains in the square, a group of young people, singing and dancing had come off their truck and were rolling their trousers up. Minutes later they had jumped into the fountain and were dancing around. But that was not all, soon they were taking their clothes off and playing around in the water some completely naked. We tourists standing around witnessing this strange practice with mouths agape wondered what weird ritual we had happened upon. I could not believe what I was seeing and I just stood there asking myself why.
When I returned to the hotel I went straight online and Googled this strange celebration and it turns out that it is an annual thing. Apparently every year, thousands of students take to the streets in trucks decorated with Danish flags, balloons, banners and signs, sometimes trees and flowers 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 horn, playing loud music, cheering and waving and generally having a blast. What a way to celebrate the end of High School. When I slept, I dreamt of trucks and loud music.