As Christmas approaches, traditions, rituals and customs are revived in Norway, these are mostly based on old superstitions. It is a period of reflection and reunion for family and friends during several weeks of festivities.
In order to maintain the Christmas spirit, children often open a window with a small gift bag. This custom is known as the julekalender.
During Christmas, the Norwegians often give top priority to the family dinner, where food becomes the centrepiece of the celebration. It is a real feast in which some typical dishes are a must and are served on that day. Such is the case of julegrøt (made with of rice with butter, sugar and cinnamon).
The Christmas tree tradition did not reach Norway until the early 19th century, from Germany. Today the tree occupies a central place in the Norwegian holiday celebration. The tree is decorated every year with some ornaments bought or made by themselves and can not be lit until Christmas Eve. That day the celebration starts at 5:00 pm with bells in all the churches of the country, full of Norwegians of all ages.
By Sergio Hernández