Fastelavn by Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2017

Client Work: When I was a Child / Fastelavn

Last year I was invited to join the exhibit for the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award in China and had the honored of being awarded 2nd place for my illustration Vatican of the Woods. This year I am thrilled to be working with them again this year. The prompt this year is When I was a child.

This first illustration I am working on is called: Fastelavn. It is a Danish holiday, with some similarities to Halloween. In other cultures, it is known as Carnival. The holiday takes place the week before Lent. Children dress up in costumes. There is a game called “Hit the Cat Off the Barrel” – it’s basically a pinata. A barrel is filled with candy and oranges and decorated with cut outs of a black cat. Children take turn to hit the barrel with a wooden bat. The first to break the barrel is crowned Queen of the Cats and the one to get the last board off the string it hands by is crowned King of the Cats.

On the following Monday children, in their costumes, go from house to house and sing a song while rattling a jar for coin. Usually, they’re awarded pennies and dimes. The song goes:

Original Danish
Fastelavn er mit navn,
boller vil jeg have.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.
Boller op, boller ned
boller i min mave.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.

English translation:
Shrovetide is my name,
buns I want.
If I get no buns,
I will make trouble.
Buns up, buns down
buns in my tummy.
If I get no buns,
I will make trouble.

I have more to say about the illustration, but I will hold off on that until the final piece is done, so stay tuned.

Links:
Fastelavn on Wikipedia

Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

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