by Oskar Rask Hjorth
Danish shopping streets and commercial buildings have a tradition of garnishing themselves with stunning decorative lights during Christmas. This year’s soaring electricity prices may have put the practice on hold for many businesses, while others are more stubborn when it comes to shutting off the lights.
Mogens Steffensen, the CEO of a local union of shops from Amager in the Outer Copenhagen area, refuses to turn off the street’s traditional decorative lights for Christmas.
“I think it’s great that somebody will display lights during Christmas, so you won’t go getting depressed,” remarks longtime resident of Amager, Victor Dyreborg..
Mr. Steffensen asserts that the union of shops has “no plans” to put the Christmas lights on hold this year and adds that the union has “just paid a greater amount to refurbish the lights.”
The refurbishment comes at a time when Copenhagen’s D’angleterre Hotel announced a cancellation of their very popular Christmas light tradition, which has drawn crowds of up to five thousand to watch the lights turn on.
Others who will turn off lights include Irma, a Copenhagen based supermarket, owned by COOP, who will turn off their iconic neon sign in the city for a limited time.
“It’s mostly a symbolic act,” explains Jens Juul Nielsen, COOP’s chief of Information.
“For how long? Let me put it this way; that for as long as Irma’s costumers must save on electricity, so shall we.”