Christmas in Norway

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Like most of its surrounding countries Norway celebrates Christmas on December 24th , the beginning of the day is as normal as any other with all shops and bussiness’ open, they close at 4.00pm and from then the festivities start, everyone baths and dresses in new clothes well to welcome the holidays.Church bells ring out from 5.00pm-6.00pm to signify the start of Christmas.

The Christmas Eve meal is started with rice pudding and an almond if hidden in one the winner receives a gift or prize, a bowl is also placed out for the barn elf that looks after the animals so he’ll behave for the upcoming year. The main meal mostly consists of one pig that fulfils the whole family. The birds are fed with the biggest sheaf of grain so everyone is well fed at Christmas.A lot of Norwegians also eat lye-treated codfish, and wash it down with boiled potatoes, rice porridge, gingerbread, and punch.

The tradition of the Yule log was started with Norwegians, a whole tree would be placed in the fire to help light the whole house, with it being so long it’d stretch across the whole of the living room and would have to be pushed further in as it burnt down. It’s believed that that tradition was the start of log-shaped cheese, cakes and deserts that appear during the holiday period.

But these days they have a Christmas tree instead like any other full of lights, and decorations.
A lot of Norwegians don’t feel very festive until they’ve watched ‘Three Nuts for Cinderella’ and the Disney Christmas film ‘From all of us to all of you’ on Christmas Eve morning, thus meaning television is very important to families around the Christmas period.

They now believe in Santa Clause which they never did before, believing he comes Christmas Eve to deliver presents to the good children.

On the 25th families spend it together and have a nice quiet day, with most families attending a service at the church, which was originally held before breakfast but has now been moved to a more appropriate time a little later on.

On the 26th festivities continue, with all restaurants, bars, cinemas etc becoming full, people hold parties with sweets and biscuits and hold fatty dinners. After Christmas children participate in ‘trick or treat’ going from house to house dressed in costumes asking for sweets and gifts.

Christmas continues through till the 20th day (January 13th) St Knuts day is the last day of Christmas.