Original blog post: https://ling-app.com/tips/merry-christmas-in-norwegian/
Do you know how to greet someone with a “Merry Christmas” in Norwegian? There is a lot of magic and beauty in Norwegian winter that goes beyond the perpetually snowy weather and ice. Norway is a country of breathtaking natural wonders, Vikings, fjords, and ancient Gods — so if you are genuinely interested in mastering information about the language of Odin and Thor, keep on reading.
Are you planning to visit a country far from home? The best time to experience the beauty of Norwegian winter is during Christmas when everyone gets together to celebrate this amazing season. It’s that time of the year when people from all over the world come together, share gifts and enjoy the spirit of festive cheer. Even if you’re not Christian like many Norwegians are, you can still celebrate Christmas with them by experiencing their merry traditions and customs.
Some of these customs include exchanging gifts on Christmas eve in addition to receiving them on Christmas day, wearing red, white, and green on December 25th, decorating trees and wreaths with lights and ornaments, exchanging cards and letters during the holiday season while drinking inebriating beverages. In this article, we will have a look at some popular Christmas traditions in Norway.
When Do People Celebrate Christmas In Norway?
In Norway, people celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. This country is no stranger to winter weather, and its northern location makes it one of the coldest countries on earth. It is hard for people in the country to experience a festive atmosphere because of the harsh weather conditions and lack of sunlight during the months of December and January, but Christmas in Norway is a big deal. While the fun festive season is a time for peace and joy, it is also an important period in the country’s economic calendar when people buy presents and fill their stockings with sweets.
The celebration is a mix of religious and cultural traditions and customs. Many people will light candles to celebrate this special day. Just like in countries like the Philippines and China, Norway celebrates Christmas with numerous traditions that include decorating Christmas trees, exchanging gifts, attending church services, and singing carols in public spaces.
Norway’s Red And White Christmas Traditions
Every place in the world has its own Christmas traditions, and Norway is no exception. Norway’s Christmas traditions are very diverse, but one thing unites them all — the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
There are plenty of traditions that go around the holiday, the most popular being “Jul.” This is when Norwegians celebrate with a huge feast, which includes meat, fish, and seafood.
In Norway, dinner traditionally starts with Julbord, a Christmas tablecloth decorated with fruit and candies. The dinner is followed by Julkonsert, a concert of carols sung by members of the local church choir. One of the most popular traditions is the Christmas dinner at home. Everyone gathers around the Christmas tree and shares their favorite stories, memories, and food during the dinner.
Back in the day, Christmas was never celebrated in churches. It was celebrated by exchanging gifts or giving presents to the poor. This tradition has been carried on because it keeps the community close and reflects on the importance of giving back to others.
The tradition of exchanging gifts was born in the 1800s. It was because people began putting more value on each other, and they started to give gifts like homemade bread or homemade jewelry.
Some other common traditions include drinking glogg (a spiced wine) at night, singing Christmas carols at home, and jumping around with bags made out of straw on one’s shoulders after decorating a tree.
Popular Norwegian Christmas Food And Drinks
Norway is a country in which the Christmas period lasts for 20 days with a lot of festivities, activities, and delicious food. The Christmas celebrations in Norway have created a popular culture that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Norwegian people gather around the Christmas table consisting of a lot of different food and drinks, with pork and fish as the main dishes. Some of the most popular traditional Christmas dishes in Norway are ribbe (seasoned pork belly), served with sauerkraut and redcurrant sauce, codfish with potatoes, and carrots topped with a bit of white sauce, and pinnekjøtt (salted sheep ribs), which can be steamed, boiled, or roasted.
Christmas porridge or Grøt made of rice is another common dish worth mentioning. It’s actually quite popular throughout the year as well, but the holiday version is usually sprinkled with cinnamon and dried fruit meal, Christmas dinner, gingerbread houses, marzipan pig.
What To Expect When Celebrating Christmas In Norway
Norway might seem like a place with a lot of snow, but there are many traditions that make it feel like the holidays. What you should expect when celebrating Christmas in Norway is a lot of food, food shopping, lots of people everywhere, and many different celebrations with traditional Norwegian songs.
The Christmas season for Norwegians starts about the end of November and lasts until after the Epiphany. This time of year is known as Lucia or Juleavslutningen (Yule evening).
The celebration has its roots in a pagan tradition where pagan fertility was celebrated during winter holidays. During these times, people would hang up their Christmas trees and decorate them with little wooden figures that represented the Norse gods. The Christmas tree is known as a “Julebukk” or “Yule Bunting”, which is where you get your presents from every day until Christmas Eve. The season of giving extends throughout the whole year, so it’s not unusual for Norwegians to give gifts early on.
In Christian tradition, December 25th was originally considered to be a day dedicated to St. Nicholas, who brought presents for children during the Christian era. However, over time other holidays were introduced that had more significance, and this eventually led to the celebration of Christmas on December 25th.
How To Say Merry Christmas In Norwegian
Norway is often thought to be very expressive when it comes to festive greetings because many of their words have direct references to Christian symbols. We will have a quick overview of the most commonly used phrases and words about Christmas in Norway.
1) God Jul!
Saying Merry Christmas in Norwegian is a bit different from English. Norwegian people say, “God Jul!” and not “Merry Christmas.”
2) Gledelig Jul!
Gledelig jul is another Norwegian phrase that translates to Merry Christmas. The word “gledelig” means “enjoyable, delightful,” and the term is typically used to wish someone a happy holiday.
3) Buorit Juovllat!
In the northern part of the country, Norwegians start the Christmas season with “Borit Juovllat” which literally translates to “bright night.” However, it can also mean “a lot of presents” or “a bright new year.”
In addition to these phrases, let’s learn some of the most common Norwegian words associated with Christmas and have a look at the table below.
Learn Norwegian With Ling App
The Christmas celebrations vary from place to place, but all countries have some traditions that are alike — like exchanging gifts, decorating houses and trees outside, and enjoying the time spent with your family. After reading this article, you should have a decent idea about the most customs and traditions when it comes to celebrating Christmas in Norway. If you are interested in learning more about the language, there’s nothing I’d recommend more than Ling App by Simya Solutions. This app can be your best friend on those long Christmas shopping trips or when you’re trying to practice your Norwegian language skills and give you some bonus tips on how to talk about Christmas in Norway.
So, what are you waiting for? Join us and start learning Norwegian today!