Strange Nordic Christmas Traditions


Hey guys!

Sorry I've been a bit absent recently, but December will make up for it! I'll be blogging every other day until Christmas Day, with only Christmas related posts! I hope you're as excited as I am for this.

Today I figured I'd start you off with something to make you laugh. As some of you may know if you're a regular reader, I live in Norway (more about that here), and we have some very strange christmas traditions. As my family is English, we don't really follow many of these, but they still crack me up when my friends tell me about them.

Not my photo
A little disclaimer - I don't know whether these are celebrated other places or whether they're originally Norwegian, but I know they're celebrated regularly in Norway, so I figured I'd share.

1. The first one might shock you if you're not used to it, but we actually celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve. It's a regular work day for adults, and presents are unwrapped late in the evening, after dinner. The origin of this is actually that Jesus was (apparently) born during the night between the 24th and 25th of December, and so the date celebrated varies from country to country.

Not my photo
2. Lille julaften, the name we have for the 23rd (which directly translates to little christmas eve) is also celebrated strangely. This is the day where your entire family sits around the table wearing 'nisseluer' and drawn-on freckles and cheeks covered in blush, eating porridge made of rice. It sounds disgusting, but it actually really nice. You'd sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon, and then have a dollop of butter in the middle, which melts and tasted really nice with the cinnamon. In the porridge we also hide an almond which has been peeled, and the person who gets this wins marsipan in the shape of a pig. I suppose this is quite similar to looking for the penny in christmas pudding.

Not my photo
3. We all have the advent calendars full of chocolate, but here there's one that every family has hanging in their window. On the 30th of November every year, each family is supposed to prick 24 dried carnations into an orange, and pull out one every day until we've reached christmas eve. It's quite disgusting actually, as the orange obviously goes out of date, and so they always end up being thrown away within the first week.

4. The weirdest one, in my opinion, is where kids basically go trick or treating. It's called 'julebukk' and children are supposed to dress up as either a christmas goat or a 'nisse' and go around to neighbours to sing christmas songs and get sweets in return. It takes place any time between christmas day and new years eve, and always puzzles me.
Those are some bizarre Christmas traditions that are considered normal here in Norway, even though most people honestly don't understand why. I'm not sure how exclusive to Scandinavia these are, but I hope you enjoyed anyway. 

Let me know what you thought, and if you've every done any of these, or some strange traditions your family has! I'd love to know. I'll be back on the 3rd of December for the next post of Blogmas!

You Might Also Like


  1. I find it so cool to learn about other people's holiday traditions, and these were funny and intriguing! #2 sounds so nice and sweet. I'm excited for your posts!

    1. Thank you! #2 is one that I actually look forward to every christmas, its so cosy.