Norway, as nowhere else, white is the color of Christmas.
It is seen
in sometimes record-breaking snowfalls, but also in the Norwegian
custom of pure white twinkling light displays that everywhere
cheer the soul through the long nights of December.
have celebrated "the holidays" long before it was named
Nordic tribes were known to have burned the first
Yule logs, and also decorated with holly and ivy to warm them
through what would have been an otherwise stark winter. Not
surprisingly, Christmas in Norway today is the most popular holiday
of the year. It is a wonderful mix of modern traditions and ancient
superstitions that still survive, for example, in their version
of a Julesnissen, or Santa Claus, a Christmas gnome.
of Julesnissen are found in the unpredictable nisseof ancient times, who are infamous for playing tricks on the
unsuspecting. Even today, in parts of rural Norway, families may
leave out a bowl of risgrot or Christmas
rice porridge for them on Christmas Eve just to keep on their
in the weeks leading up to Christmas there are countless parties
to attend and at home, lots of cleaning and baking to do - especially
in households that still provide the customary julekaker,
the seven different types of Christmas cakes or cookies.
home holiday project is the creation of the traditional paper
Christmas baskets that some families carefully make by hand
for Christmas tree decorations.
As Christmas finally arrives, the big event is always on Christmas Eve, when
gifts are exchanged and the holiday meal is served. Depending
on the region, a Norwegian Christmas dinner may feature a lutefisk, cod or halibut dish,
while in other areas lamb or savory pork ribs with crispy crackling
(Svineribbe) is the main attraction.
More information about Christmas in Norway around the Web:
Christmas Pages - Browse for favorite holiday
traditions, recipes & instructions for Pinnekjøtt,
mashed rutabaga and Christmas porridge, the legends behind the
Norway nisse, and how to's for making your own Norwegian Christmas
in Norway - Discover a wonderful overview of holiday customs with
facts & information on Christmas decorations, preparations,
St. Lucy's Day, Lille julaften (Little Christmas Eve),
holiday dinner, and the traditional Christmas celebration at the
Steve's Europe - Norwegian Christmas
- Here's a nicely done narrative by the famous U.S. world traveler with
insights into customs and traditions, along with what to see in
Oslo and other nearby attractions during the holidays.