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MAIN Arrow to Christmas Christmas Arrow to Christmas in Europe Europe Arrow to Christmas in Norway Christmas in Norway

God Jul -  Merry Christmas in NorwayIn 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.

Norwegians have celebrated "the holidays" long before it was named as such.

Pre-Christian 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.

The origins of Julesnissen are found in the unpredictable nisse of 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 good side.

How to make Norwegian Christmas basketMeanwhile, 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.

Another popular 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).

More information about Christmas in Norway around the Web:

Norway 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 tree decorations.

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 workplace.

Rick 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.


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