More than 100 people dressed up as Santa Claus or ‘Julemanden’, will arrive in Copenhagen next week to take part in the annual activities of the World Santa Claus Congress.
This meeting dates back to 1957 and the Santas use the occasion to spread summertime Christmas cheer and trade tips on how Christmas is celebrated in their part of the world.
But this year’s gathering will be without long-time attendees Jonny Ekdahl and Anna Kuylenstierna.
The Malmö Mr and Mrs Claus are boycotting the event after being abused by a drunken Danish Santa Claus at the 2013 congress.
“We have been six times in the past, but we do not feel welcome anymore and are boycotting the congress,” says Ekdahl.
The problems stem from the 2013 congress, when Kuylenstierna was giving a ten-minute presentation on the Malmö Santa business environment.
During the talk she mentioned that she and her partner, Ekdahl, always provided their Santa services for free.
One of the Danish Santas then heckled the Swedes for providing their services for free.
“He muttered and shouted at us,” said Ekdahl.
“We didn't really understand at first. There had been a dinner before the workshop and it seems some were tempted by the alcohol.”
“But then we realized that it is taboo to provide Santa services for free. Many of the Danish Santas were bragging about how much money they earn.”
“But we were being heckled so much we had to cut short our presentation at four minutes.”
Back in Sweden, Ekdahl and Kuylenstierna wrote a letter to the Danish Santa Claus guild and received a reply regretting the incident.
Content with the apology Ekdahl and Kuylenstiernaturned up at the congress in 2014.
But they were disappointed.
“No one greeted us and we had to sit alone and eat,” said Ekdahl.
“Last year I was ill and couldn't but this year we are boycotting the congress. We are just not going to go.”
This Santa diplomatic incident comes just a few days after another Denmark-Sweden disagreement.
Denmark.dk is managed by the Danish Foreign Ministry and Sweden.se by the Swedish Institute (or according to the latter's profile: “by the communications unit and a moose”).
They usually tweet and retweet various statements that promote their countries.
But on Thursday, something changed.
It all started when Sweden suddenly hit out at Denmark, writing that the country's many lakes are the size of smaller Denmark's entire nation.
But the Danes quickly hit back, mocking their Scandinavian neighbours' famed fondness for rules.