June 15, 2024


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How Did Norwegian Christmas Traditions Start?

Christmas In Norway | Traditions | White Christmas

Just like the beginning of the world, the Norwegian Christmas also began on a particular day. From many Norwegian reviews, the beginning of the Norwegian Christmas tradition is a very dicey history. Don’t panic, this article will explain how Norwegians started their own Christmas tradition.

Christmas in Norway is a very famous festival where Norwegians celebrate with family and friends, buy gifts, go shopping, enjoy traditional meals as well as bonding with long-time friends. But how did Norwegians adopt Christmas festivals? Read on!

The Advent of Christmas in Norway

When Christianity first arrived in Norway in the early 1000s or 1100s, Christmas was not observed there. In the past, Norwegians used to observe Jul in the middle of winter. It served as a means to commemorate the end of the harvest and welcome the coming of spring. Beer was produced in large quantities and consumed in remembrance of the ancient pagan/pre-Christian Scandinavian gods.

Norway’s annual gift of a large Christmas tree to the United Kingdom is arguably the most well-known Christmas tradition in Norway. The tree is being offered as a gift as a means to express gratitude for the support that the citizens of the UK provided to Norway during World War II. Thousands of visitors frequently troop to Trafalgar Square in the heart of London to see the tree when the lights are turned on.

Norwegian Christmas Traditions 

The Musevisa Song 

The Musevisa is a fairly well-known song in Norway during the holiday season (The Mouse Song). Alf Prysen wrote the lyrics in 1946. The music is an old-fashioned folk song from Norway. It relates the tale of some mice preparing for Christmas while their parents issue stern warnings to their offspring not to play in mouse traps. It gained popularity quite rapidly and continues to be popular every year.

Christmas Eve 

The 23rd of December is celebrated as “Lille Julaften” in Norway which is known as Little Christmas Eve in English. Many families have their own customs for what to do on “Lille Julaften” night. Some Norwegians assemble a gingerbread house or put up a Christmas tree. Risengrynsgrt consumption is also taken to celebrate the little Christmas eve. Also, there’s a popular old comedy known as “Dinner for One ”. This comedy is always broadcast on Norwegian TV every year. 

Present-giving takes place on Christmas Eve. Sometimes, Santa Claus, known in Norway as “Julenissen,” brings gifts. Moreover, gifts are brought by the little gnomes known as “Nisse.” Another event that takes place on the little Christmas eve is that Children are made to take all the Christmas presents out from under the tree and read the cards on them aloud. 

In Norway, the presentation of gifts begins from the first day of December till the Christmas day.

Candle Light 

Another tradition in parts of Norway is that families light a candle every night from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day

Christmas Meals, Snacks, and Meat 

In Norway, a wide variety of cakes and cookies are consumed during the holiday season. One of the most well-known is a unique bread known as “Julekake,” which contains raisins, candied peel, and cardamom. On Christmas Eve, people typically eat rice porridge, or “Risengrynsgrt,” either at lunch (served with butter, sugar, and cinnamon) or as a dessert (with whipped cream thrown in). However, if you see an almond in your meal, you will get a white or pink marzipan pig. 

Also, Pork or mutton ribs are usually served on Christmas day as the main meal. Sometimes, it’s served together with potatoes and “surkal,” which is white or red cabbage that has been finely chopped and boiled with caraway seeds and vinegar.