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Victorihaven Photo: Victorihaven. Reiser og opplevelser butikken Photo: Reiser og opplevelser. Christmas in Norway is based on Christian traditions, with elements of old pagan traditions and Jewish Hannukah. And new traditions are added every year. Of course, there are as many ways to celebrate Christmas in Norway as there are people, but let us introduce you to some traditions and activities that most Norwegians are likely to be familiar with. In the end of November, Oslo is decorated for Christmas, and the city buzzes with people doing their Christmas shopping. Christmas trees are lit and streets decorated in the city centre during the first weekend of Advent.

During these weeks you have plenty of opportunities to catch a Christmas concert or Christmas market. During Advent it is common for companies, organisations and groups of friends to have pre-Christmas parties, in Norwegian called julebord. The julebord crowd fills up the city's restaurants and clubs, making the weekend nightlife quite busy in this period.

An almond is hidden in the pudding, and if the almond turns up in your portion, you win a marzipan pig! Christmas Eve is the main event in Norwegian Christmas celebration. The first part of the day is often spent rushing around for the last Christmas presents, or in church for Christmas service. At five the bells ring out for Christmas, and most people have Christmas dinner at home or with relatives. The Christmas presents have been placed under the tree, and are opened after dinner. Of course, not everyone in Norway celebrates Christmas, but most people celebrate more or less according to these traditions.

Many immigrants also celebrate, using elements of the traditional Norwegian Christmas. As this is a "stay-at-home evening", most restaurants and pubs are closed on Christmas Eve , and the streets are quiet. The days between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are typically spent going to brunches and dinners with family and friends. Many people go out in the evening, so there is more activity in the city centre.

Nordic Recipes - Daughters of Norway

From 27 December the shops are open , and people rush around exchanging presents that weren't quite what they wanted. In the countryside, many people put a bowl outside for the barn gnome. It can be made with red wine, but the non-alcoholic version is often preferred. You can taste it in most Christmas markets in Oslo. Many parents bake them with their children, and the most patient ones also make a pepperkake house. The house is first used as a decoration, and then demolished and eaten at the end of the holidays. Christmas is high season for snacks and candy. Enourmous amounts of marzipan is sold before Christmas.

Rosaaen Olson’s Julekake (Christmas Bread)

According to the marzipan manufacturer Nidar, Norway's 5 million people manage to eat more than 40 million marzipan figures during this period. You will also see bowls of chocolate and nuts in most homes. Traditional Christmas candy such as burnt almonds and glazed apples are rarely made at home, but you can buy them in the major Christmas markets if you want to try. Before Christmas we decorate the house with wreaths, angels, gnomes, hearts, stars, and maybe a nativity scene or a gingerbread house. More and more people also decorate their houses on the outside with lights and wreaths.

Most families have a Christmas tree in the living room. Take a trip to one of Oslo's Christmas markets if you want to buy traditional Norwegian Christmas decorations.

18 Norwegian foods you've probably never heard of

Spikersuppa Christmas market Photo: Jul i vinterland. More about opening hours during Christmas. Activities and attractions 10 suggestions for What's on? Explore the region. Inspiration and information to make the most of your stay in Oslo. Read more about Oslo. Danish Christmas Cones - 6 pk. Child Viking Helmet. Norge Shield Decal. Viking Helmet With Braids - Gold. Viking Helmet - Gold. Viking Helmet - Silver. Snowman Candles - 4" and 6" - Set of 2. Nisse Boy Ornament - 3" - Round Belly.

Nordic Moose Ornament.

Norwegian Christmas Traditions

Nordic Sleigh Ornament - 3". Norwegian Pewter Ornament - Tomte on Julbok.

Cookie Stamps

Try having fun with this family-friendly legend and hunt for the nisse living in your own home. Simply search for photos of the nisse on the internet, print them out and hide them around your home, then send your guests on the nisse hunt of the year. Check out the November issue of Viking for a nisse cut-out, along with other Nordic games and activities you can enjoy over the holidays. You can also learn more about the nisse and its Norwegian legend in the December issue of Viking. The Nordic countries are well known for their trolls and nisse.

In the s the farm's nisse became the bearer of Christmas presents in Denmark, and was then called julenisse Yule Nisse. In , the Swedish magazine Ny Illustrerad Tidning published Viktor Rydberg's poem "Tomten", where the tomte is alone awake in the cold Christmas night, pondering the mysteries of life and death.


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Gradually, commercialism has made him look more and more like the American Santa Claus, but the Swedish jultomte, the Norwegian julenisse, the Danish julemand and the Finnish joulupukki in Finland he is still called the Yule Goat, although his animal features have disappeared still has features and traditions that are rooted in the local culture. The use of the word tomte in Swedish is now somewhat ambiguous, but often when one speaks of jultomten definite article or tomten definite article one is referring to the more modern version, while if one speaks of tomtar plural or tomtarna plural, definite article one could also likely be referring to the more traditional tomtar.

The traditional word tomte lives on in an idiom, referring to the human caretaker of a property hustomten , as well as referring to someone in one's building who mysteriously does someone a favour, such as hanging up ones laundry.


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  8. A person might also wish for a little hustomte to tidy up for them. A tomte stars in one of author Jan Brett's children's stories, "Hedgie's Surprise". In some versions the tomter are portrayed as very small; in others they are human-sized. The tomter usually exist hidden from humans and are often able to use magic. In March thousands of spectators will gather in Oslo to support their favorite athletes for the Holmenkollen Ski Festival.

    Arranged yearly since the first ski jumping and cross-country skiing competition in , the Holmenkollen Ski Festival includes events in ski jumping, Nordic combined and cross-country skiing.

    Culinary History

    Regarded as being among the most famous sports arenas in the world and the center of Norwegian skiing, Holmenkollen has a long and impressive history. In the many years since its inception Holmenkollen and its facilities have existed in multiple separate incarnations, changing dramatically since its first branch and snow ski jump in The war years halted regular events at Holmenkollen until a celebratory liberation event in Competitors wrote the symbol H7 King Haakon VII in the outrun and the events once again commenced as they had prior to the war.

    Holmenkollen received its most dramatic re-development prior to hosting the World Championships, modernizing by becoming the only ski jump in the world with permanent wind protection and a steel construction.