Kids’ traditions in a Typical Norwegian Christmas
Christmas in Norway is not only an adult affair, kids also have their own unique ways, events, games, and relaxation activities. Children’s activities in Norway during Christmas are very important and are an integral part of Norwegian Christmas.
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Do you want your kids to enjoy the Norwegian traditional way during Christmas? Reading this article is a journey you must embark on.
Christmas, which is observed on December 25, is a holy religious event as well as a global cultural and economic phenomenon. People have been celebrating it with customs and rituals that are both religious and secular in nature for two millennia now. Christmas Day is marked by Christians as the anniversary of the birth of the spiritual figure whose teachings serve as the foundation of their faith, Jesus of Nazareth. Popular traditions include giving gifts, putting up Christmas trees, going to church, gathering with loved ones for feasts, and, of course, watching for Santa Claus.
Things Norwegian Kids Do on Christmas
Reading the Cards
In the Norwegian Christmas kids tradition, all the cards that a family might have received during Christmas are meant to be read by the children. The kids do this to show their elation and to practice their elocution skills.
The cards are normally read aloud to the hearing of the family. No matter how large or many the cards might be, the kids are meant to read all in the evening. Surprised? Don’t be.
The Norwegian Santa Claus is called Julenissen, and he is pretty similar to most other Santas around the world.
The children are meant to see Santa on Christmas day, and collect the gifts he brought from Rome.
On Christmas Eve, he knocks on the door and enters the house with a bag full of gifts and goodies for the kids and everyone. Since there are only a few countries in the world celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve, he has plenty of time to sit down to relax (and be offered a shot of Aquavit). Most times, the kids in the house will sing him a song before he starts pulling presents out of his bag.
Christmas “Elfs” living in barns
The Nisse på Låven is a Norwegian kids’ Christmas tradition where they get to see this creature. Nisse is a small manlike creature living on an active farm, usually in the barn. He will hide in the hay so that no one will see him. According to the legends, it is the Fjøsnisse (fjøs- barn) that takes care of the animals on the farm, ensuring that they do not get ill in the winter. As a token of appreciation for this, it is expected that the farmer leaves a bowl of Julegrød (Christmas porridge) on the steps of his house for the elf to enjoy for Christmas. It is very important that there is a blob of butter in the middle of the porridge, otherwise, the Nisse could get angry and the animals could get sick for Christmas.
During Christmas, kids are taken to a local farm to meet their Nisse, who hid in the hay and jumped around so he could be seen. Kids are normally scared at the sight of Nisse. It’s an interesting and scary adventure.
The Norwegian TV channels show cartoons for children which is the culture every year. So in the morning, it’s a festival of cartoons and Disney classics.
In many parts of Norway, children go carol singing. Additionally, children also dress up to mimic and do a parody of biblical figures like the wise men, Jesus, Mary etc. They occasionally carry bags with paper stars on them to get gifts from whomever wishes to give them.