Denmark’s Little Mermaid turns 100

Start thinking about visiting a destination and suddenly you can’t move for mentions of it – whether it’s selective recognition or a series of cheerful coincidences, Copenhagen has been back on my mind again.

As well as the flight sale on Opodo, the city’s iconic Little Mermaid statue is celebrating its 100th birthday this Friday, August 23, with events around the worldvisit-denmark-little-mermaid-birthday

And it’s been quite an eventful existence so far, it seems. Since the statue was placed on Langelinie, in Copenhagen’s harbour area, she has been decapitated three times (by the highly improbable anti-mermaid society), had her arm sawn off, was knocked off her rock by explosives and been both clothed and painted by various people, including political activists.

She’s also travelled to China in 2010, while representations – sorry, ‘live mermaids’ – will be appearing at attractions and landmarks in cities worldwide, including Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Sydney, Shanghai and Stockholm.

Miss Denmark 2013 will be making an appearance on London’s South Bank in full mermaid regalia, while 100 fish-tailed women will be jumping into the water in Copenhagen itself to form the number 100.

Approximately five million photos have been taken of her to date – but if you feel inspired to join in, you could win a seven-night holiday for two to Denmark with Radisson Blue and VisitDenmark. Either take a picture of the mermaid or your interpretation and share it on Instagram or Twitter using #littlemermaid100 or visit www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/little-mermaid-competition.

And as the final push to book some tickets, I’ve also learned that Hans Christian Andersen had more wise words than are to be found in his fairytales – ‘to travel is to live’, he said. I couldn’t agree more.

Image: Ramus Flindt Pedersen/VisitDenmark