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God Jul – Adding Norwegian Traditions to Your Holiday Celebrations

God Jul, or as we in the UK are more familiar with, Merry Christmas! The festive season is celebrated all over the world but that’s not to say you’ll find all traditions that take place are the same. The home of Stressless® celebrates the Christmas period a little differently. The following are some Christmas traditions celebrated in Norway during the holiday season.

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Julenisse

If you’re looking for Santa Claus in Norway, you won’t find him! Instead you would find the Norweigans most common Christmas icon, Julenisse. A Scandinavian folklore creation, a nisse is a short creature with a long white beard and red hat. Julenisse means the gift-bearing nisse found at Christmas time. The children make colourful paper baskets filled with sweets and nuts to leave on the windowsill and around the house for nisse. It is believed that it scares the naughty children and dogs at night, so when dogs bark on the night of Christmas Eve, Julenisse is about to visit people’s homes.

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Julaften

The 24th December stands as the focal point for the fesitve season in Norway. Julaften (Christmas Eve) is the day when presents are exchanged and family members gather for the Christmas meal. However, Christmas day is more of a quieter affair often spent privately. Most commonly found on the table on Julaften will be Ribbe, seasoned pork belly with sauerkraut and redcurrant sauce in replacement of the traditional UK turkey.  Julekake is also traditionally eaten on Christmas eve which is a sweet bread containing raisins.

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The Christmas Tree

The children of Norway decorate the Christmas trees as its believed it will bring good luck the following year. The decorations are usually Norwegian flags, white lights, tinsel and other festive ornaments.

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‘Musevisa’- Norwegian Folk Song

Written in 1946 by Alf Proyson, ‘Musevisa’ is a popular, traditional, Norwegian folk tune played during Christmas. The song tells the story of a family of mice preparing for Christmas. The mother and father mouse warn their baby mice to stay aware from the mouse traps during Christmas.
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So if you fancy welcoming the Julenisse into your home, cooking some Ribbe for Christmas eve or singing Musevisa around the fire this Christmas, you would be adding some true Norwegian traditions to your holiday celebrations.