GREENVILLE — The Danish Festival Board of Directors has chosen “The Snow Queen” as the theme of this year’s 48th annual Danish Festival.
“The Snow Queen” was written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1845. The story centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kai and Gerda. The story is one of Andersen’s longest, told in a series of seven stories, and is considered by many as one of his best.
An evil troll has a magic mirror that contains the power to distort images. It’s unable to reflect the good and beautiful aspects of people while it magnifies only the bad and ugly. The mirror slips from the troll’s grasp and shatters into billions of pieces. These splinters lodge into people’s hearts and eyes, making them only see the bad and ugly in people and things.
Kai and Gerda live next door to each other. The two enjoy growing vegetables and roses in their window boxes. They become devoted in love to each other. Splinters from the troll’s mirror get into Kai’s heart and eyes while he and Gerda are in their window-box garden. Kai becomes cruel and aggressive and he no longer cares about Gerda. She now appears bad and ugly to him. The only beautiful things to him now are the tiny snowflakes that he sees through his frosted window.
The Snow Queen is ruler over these snowflakes, called “snow bees,” and she is seen where the snowflakes cluster the most. She beckons Kai to come with her in her sleigh. She kisses him twice: once to numb him from the cold and once to cause him to forget about Gerda and his family. Kai is then taken to the Snow Queen’s palace near the North Pole.
Gerda, who is heartbroken at Kai’s disappearance, goes out to look for him. She discovers she possesses the unique power to save Kai: her sweet and innocent child’s heart. When Gerda arrives at the Snow Queen’s palace, she finds Kai alone and immobile on the frozen lake, which the Snow Queen calls the “Mirror of Reason” on which her throne sits. Gerda sheds warm tears on Kai, which melts away the splinter in his heart. Kai bursts into tears, dislodging the splinter from his eye. He is saved by the power of Gerda’s love.
These children encounter many characters and adventures throughout the seven-part story. The Danish Festival Board of Directors encourages everyone to read it in full to thoroughly enjoy Andersen’s best tale.
This year’s Danish Festival is scheduled for Aug. 16-19.
For more information, visit www.danishfestival.org or call the Danish Festival office at (616) 754-6369.
Spectrum Health United Hospital to sponsor Danish Festival
For the sixth consecutive year, Spectrum Health United Hospital will serve as the official title sponsor of the Danish Festival.
“We are thrilled to welcome Spectrum Health United Hospital back as our title sponsor,” Danish Festival Executive Director Pam Jorae said. “The ongoing support and collaboration the hospital has provided to us continues to be invaluable.”
“The Danish Festival serves as a very important event for the greater Greenville community,” said Tina Freese-Decker, president of Spectrum Health United Hospital. “The festival unites local residents and draws in many from other areas to explore all that Greenville has to offer. United Hospital is pleased to be the title sponsor of the 48th Danish Festival and give back to the community that has continuously supported our hospital.”