fredag 23. desember 2011

Christmas in Norway

Hello to all my dear friends.
This post is mostly to my foreign friends,
like Bonnie, but also to anyone who`d like to read it.
Fun to make anyways. :)

So with this, I`d like to share a few of our norwegian Christmas traditions with you guys.

The last four Sundays before Christmas, and the weeks in between, it what we call Advent.
The Advent color is mainly purple, deep purple, and by the first Sunday in Advent we
put up theese kinds of Christmas lights in our windows (I cant fint an english word for it).
There are lots of kinds, but the most common and traditional looks something like this:

We have one in our living room, and in the kitchen we have a star,
we call it "adventstar". My is old, my  mother bought it when she was pregnant
with me, and when I moved out I got it. This is my star:

Then we start counting down,
we hade an advent candle stick, with four candles. Often purple,
but some people use other colors. I dont have one myself,
just havent found one that I like yet.
On "The first Sunday of Advent" we light one candle,
on "The second Sunday of Advent" we light the first candle
and one more, and so on, until it looks like this:

The Forth Sunday of Advent we let all the light burn down.
There are several poems/songs that we can say,
about what the different lights means.
I put one of them into google translator:

So we light a candle tonight
we light it for joy.
It stands and shines for itself
and us who are present.
So we light a candle tonight
we light it for joy.

So we light two candles in the evening,
two candles of hope and joy.
They stand and shine for themselves
and us who are present.
So we light two candles in the evening,
two candles of hope and joy.

So we light three candles tonight
of longing, hope and joy.
They stand and shine for themselves
and us who are present.
So we light three candles in the evening,
of longing, hope and joy.

We light four candles in the evening
and let them burn down
of longing, joy, hope and peace,
but most still
for peace on this small earth
where people live.

Here you can hear one of the others,
this one is my favourite.

When December begins, norwegian kids start opening their
Advent Calendars. Lots of adults have them too. ;)
They come in lots of different kinds.
The ones that cost around 2 dollars,
and have a little chocklate every day,
and the one parents make themself,
with little gifts each day.

Here is an example of what a chocklate calendar
might look like:

In the time towards Christmas we bake,
clean, and make decorations or traditional meals.
I wont say so much about that,
but its common to make gingerbread in lots of shapes,
and all kinds of christmas "cookies", in lack of a better word.

We also celebrate Lucia Day, on the 13th of December.
This day, lots of kids sing the Lucia Song (link),
and make kakes like this:

The kids dress up in white,
and get candles, glitter and such,
and one bears a crown, she is supposed to be Lucia.
They sing the song, often walking in a row like on this tape
from a norwegian hospital.

This is my daughter on Lucia Day,
she turns three in February. She did so good, and I had to run outside
afterwards to wipe my tears. I cry so easily its embarrassing. ;)

On the 22. of Desember is the day when everything goes wrong.
We call it "sunturn" if I translate it directly, because that it the day "the sun turns",
and this is the longest night all year.
This day animals break loose, beer turn into water,
and if you bake something this day,
it will be ruined. Old superstition,
most people dont care about it anymore,
but its fun, I think. ;)

23th of December is what we call "Little Christmas Eve".
This it the day most of us put up our Christmas Tree and decorate it,
and we decorate with the rest of the house with whatever we have.
Lots of little Santas. They are not like the American Santa Clause,
not all of them anyway. They are like little elves or so,
they are the norwegian santas that live in barns and stables,
and look more like this:

The evening on the 23th all of Norway gather around to
watch "Dinner for one", at 9 pm.
I have learned by now that in other contries it is shown at
New Years Eve, but in Norway it has always been sendt on the 23th,
and I just HAVE to see it.

I`ll leave a link for you all, but I wont see it myself,
thats cheating. ;)

Now we have reached Christmas Eve, and this is THE day in Norway.
All of this day is practically holy.

We spend all morning in our pajamas,
while we open our stockings that is filled
with marsipan pigs, klementines, and lots of other candy
and/or little presents. We eat this while we watch the
Christmas Morning Show that goes every year.
Its called "julemorgen", it means "Christmas Morning".
This show is on every morning during Christmas,
it is for children, and is a mix of contests, intervjues,
music and little movies. I love it!

On Christmas Eve there are several shows I never miss.
This first one it about a carpenter who meets the real santa,
and trades place with him, so he goes to santas kids.

There is also a little movie about a girl, Johanna.
Her mother is pregnant, so they cant go to her grandparents for Christmas like they always do,
and their grandparents have a farm they cant leave. Everything goes wrong on both ends,
and both families decide to visit the other. It all ends with Johannas baby brother being born
on Christmas Eve, on a gas station.

Then there is THE Christmas Move. The funny part is that it has nothing what so ever
to do with Christmas, except that is has been sendt on TV on Christmas Eve
at 11 am since the 70s.
It is a czech movie about Cinderella.
If I translate the norwegian title it`s called
"Three nuts for Cinderella".
A georgeus fairy tale.
In norway, we have this one actor who tells the story and
says every line (to both genders).
Its really bad, but so charming, and it could never be changed.

After this, there is shown a movie called "The Jurney to the Christmas Star",
a norwegian movie about a princess that wants to give her heart to the Christmas Star,
and disappears. Then the king ban the star, because he blames it.
Lots of great norwegian actors
and humor in this one.
I have bought in on DVD, and we are watching it and eating podrigge
with sugar and cinnamon right now. (on the 23th of December).
If you dont know this, the podrigge we eat is rice and milk,
and it is used a lot both on every days and on Christmas.
(lots of people put an almond in the podrigge,
and the one that finds it gets a price.)
I love this move, but it is a lot to see two in a row,
so I have moved it to Little Christmas Eve,
to free some time.

A lot of people go to the graveyards on Christmas Eve,
placing candles and/or flowers. My hubby does this,
and I think I`ll go with him this year,
even though I never knew anyone of them who lies there.
I think its a nice tradition, to pay respects and remember.
People often do this when they go to church for Christmas,
but we never used to do that.

Later on, its time for dinner, after mabye Santa has visited,
and that is one of the higlights of the day.
What we eat varies between a few dishes.
I loove pork ribs, this is what we usually have,
and will be eating tomorrow.

The other usual dinners are pinnekjøtt, which is ribs of lamb that is salted and dried,
and it looks like this served:

The last one of the most common dinners is lutefisk,
dried cod that is later put in lye, and watered out,
then boiled and served. Its a bit strange, but tastes good.
Other plases in Norway they eat smalahove, the dried head of a sheep.
That I have never eaten... Some eat other dishes, and some have turkey,
but that is more of a New Years Eve-dinner in Norway.

For dessert we are going to have rice cream,
witch is left over rice podrigge mixed with cream,
and we have red sause on it.

Then we have a little break,
before we gather to open presents.
Every family does this in its own way,
but I love the way my in-laws does it.
One person pickes out a present, reads out loud who it is to and from
and gives it to the reciver, who opens it. It takes time,
hours even, but its so cozy and lovely, and we get to see how people react to
what we give, and appreciate every gift.

When this is done, we spend the evening drinking coffee
with a little something on the side, eating cakes,
and mabye play some board games and just talk and laugh.

After Christmas Eve, the days are called "first day of Christmas"
and so on, until New Years Eve. The 13th day of Christmas, we are
supposed to pack it all down, but I often do this January 1st.
I looove Christmas, but when Christmas Eve is over
I get a bit sick of it, and just spend the holidays relaxing
and wisiting family, and maby goes to a party or two.

I hope somebody found this interresting, and if not, well, I enjoyed making it. ;)
I`m sorry I dont have any more pictures,
later on I think I`ll post some of our celebration.

Thank you all for this year, lots of Christmas inspiration,
and nice comments and candies to join or just being there.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas,
filled with love and family and peace and joy.
Lots of hugs,

13 kommentarer:

Gro sa...

God Jul til deg og dine Anne.

Klem :o)

Elaine sa...

Fabulous Anne!
I loved reading about your traditions.
Very fun and informative..thank you sharing it with us :)

Merry Christmas and God Jul

Love Elaine xxx

Jorill sa...

Ønsker deg og dine ei riktig god jul!


Nina sa...

Ville bara kika in och önska dig en God Jul. Kram Nina

SusanLotus sa...

Önskar dig en riktigt God Jul!

UlrikaT sa...

God jul Anne!

Askepott sa...

Ønsker deg og dine ei fortsatt fin jul og et kreativt nytt år!! :-))

Kjersti sa...

Ønsker deg en fortsatt god jul, Anne!
Juleklem fra Kjersti

Mandy sa...

Anne thanks so much for sharing your Christmas with us, I loved reading about it & watching the films. Your little girl is beautiful, I am one that would have cried too lol.
I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas & wishing you all a Happy New Year
hugs Mandy xx

Chris sa...

Thank you for sharing your traditions Anne, I loved reading it and listening to and watching the video's. Some of our traditions are similar and some different and it's all wonderful :). Your little girls is adorable, I'm not surprised you were crying, I did too when mine were small. I hope your Christmas was good and I wish you and your family a very happy new year. Hugs, Chris xx

Annelie sa...

Älskar traditioner, kul att läsa :)
Önskar dig ett riktigt Gott Nytt År!!
Kram Annelie

Sassy Scrapper sa...

Oh Anne my love I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful post on the Norwegian Christmas traditions I enjoyed it very much.
We in America also use the window candles in all kinds of colors mostly I see white. I only have single candles in my windows because I broke the one that looks like yours. We call it tiered candles.
I must confess I cried when I read the candle poem and then listened to the one you linked up. I cry too when it comes to sentimental things.
We also share the tradition of baking cookies and advent calendar. I prefer the home made calendar.
Your celebration of Lucia Day is very beautiful and your daughter is such an angel thank you so much for sharing her with us. I would have cried too. Your daughter and I share the same Birthday month of February.
I love the Norwegian Santas!!!!
I've seen the movie Dinner for One when I was little and had forgotten all about it so thank you for sharing the link you brought back some old memories.
We also put flowers on the graves and this is done from Thanksgiving until Christmas. I like that you do it on Christmas Eve.
Our favorite Christmas movie is Scrooge and we watch this while we decorate the tree.
Our Christmas dinner is usually turkey, some bake ham and have a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, squash, turnip and carrots. Bakes breads, cranberries and stuffing. Pie's,cakes and cookies for sweets. Too much to list. BIG DIET AFTER THE HOLIDAY'S!!lol
Again thank you so much for sharing this with us it's been a real treat learning your traditions and also comparing the similarities.
Happy New Year my sweet Norwegian friend.
Hugs and much love

Patricia Garcia sa...

Loved it Anne, I enjoyed reading about your Christmas traditions, very well explained, your daughter is a cutie!