She has lost her head twice – most recently in 1998, and in 2010 The Little Mermaid was sent all the way from Scandinavia to the World’s Fair in Shanghai to be part of the Danish pavilion. Based on a fairy tale, Copenhagen’s famous symbol has lived quite an adventurous life of her own.
The statue was originally unveiled in 1913, and was inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale by the same name. The same fairy tale also inspired the Walt Disney animated movie. Andersen, who lived from 1805 to 1875, also spent most of his life in Copenhagen, close by the spot where the mermaid statue sits today.
The Little Mermaid sits by the quay – a stone’s throw from picturesque Nyhavn and the Danish royal palace, home to the oldest monarchy in the world, where the statue overlooks the busiest cruise port in Northern Europe.
Real-life mermaids in the harbour
The famous bronze statue will be the centre of attention on August 23rd, as Copenhagen will be hosting a whole day of festivities at the harbour to celebrate the statue’s 100th birthday. As it is an extra special occasion, the birthday celebrations will carry on from early afternoon throughout the evening.
Among many things the birthday party will feature birthday songs performed by Tivoli Gardens’ boys guard – dressed in traditional uniform: red coats and huge bearskin hats. Also the local brewery of Carlsberg will attend the party, arriving in original horse-drawn brewer’s wagons.
True to tradition, 100 real-life ‘mermaids’ will jump in the water and swim around the statue to form the number 100. Swimming in the harbour of Copenhagen is perfectly safe – in fact the water is so clean that the city council has established several public pools around the harbour. It’s all a part of the city’s ambitious plan to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025.
Rich history – modern city
Though a 100 years may seem a long time, The Little Mermaid’s home city – Copenhagen – dates back to the Viking Age. Nowadays Copenhagen mixes well-preserved history with world-class restaurants, such as noma, as well as modern life quality.
This year Copenhagen was once again pronounced the world’s most liveable city by the international lifestyle magazine Monocle.
Being known for life quality for humans, Copenhagen on the 23rd of August also becomes the world’s best place to live – for mermaids.
More information and full programme for the celebration: www.visitcopenhagen.com/thelittlemermaid
If you're in Delhi, catch the Little Mermaid at Select Citywalk Mall and shoot a picture. To join a competition for the best picture, upload it on Twitter/ Instagram with the hashtag #littlemermaid100
Photo credit: Ramus Flindt Pedersen