Anyone know about X-mas in Norway? School report!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by chicken_angler, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    I have to create a report about different festivities/ foods/ cool things in Norway during Christmas. The report isn't more than a few paragraphs and I already have a good start. Anyone know some good websites?

    Oh Oh Oh!!! We do get extra credit for anything extra we do. i.e. create one of the holiday foods or make a poster. I read about little cookies called Sand Kagers. Anyone had them? KNow how to make them?
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Ok...this is some old family stuff. Not sure how accurate it is, but supposedly, great grandma was Norwegian. My grandpa told us that they celebrated St. Nicholas day. You would leave out a wooden shoe stuffed with straw (or carrots) for St. Nick's reindeer. Then St. Nick would fill the wooden shoe with candy.
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    I am sure you could google it and get a ton of info - I have none to offer - Sorry!!!!
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    food = lefse, rosettes, sandbakkles, and krumkakes

    Those are the only traditions passed down through my family, besides saying the occasional uff da.

    Mac - that Irish, German, Norwegian, Czech guy

    BTW - the rosettes, sandbakkles, and krumkakes all take special molds, irons, forms, and such

    You could probably pull off making lefse, it is riced potatoes, flour, and lard rolled into a very thin bread (like a tortilla) and cooked on a griddle, just look up a recipe. Very good stuff with butter and sugar or a jam...
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2008
  5. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Norwegians decorate their Christmas trees with flags and little woven heart baskets (I can't remember what they are called but there are lots of patterns on the web).

    Julekakke is a traditional Christmas bread. It is a sweet egg bread flavored with cardamom and fruit. I use the base recipe whenever I make sweet rolls because it is so good.

    The Julenissen are Christmas elves, and I think they bring presents.

    The Julebukk is part of the Norwegian Christmas, but I don't know anything about the traditions associated with the Bukk.

    I also think the Norwegians stole Luciadag from the Swedes. This is a celebration of St. Lucia's Day.. The oldest girl in a family wears a lighted crown and bring breakfast breads to the family.

    I think most Scandinavian Christmas traditions have a strong basis in some of the pre-Christian rituals of the area.

    Hope this helps.

    I just made krumkakke for the school choir concert. Now I have to make another batch for the family.
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I think most Scandinavian Christmas traditions have a strong basis in some of the pre-Christian rituals of the area

    LOL...most AMERICAN Christmas traditions are based on pre-christian rituals!​
  7. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    I found this in the annals of my dust covered cookbook notes etc...Don't ask where I got it. Can't remember that far back.
    I keep just in case I need to cater a "traditional" christmas dinner.
    Hope it helps!


    1 cup butter or margarine
    2 cups brown sugar
    3 eggs
    ¼ cup cream or half'n half or canned milk
    1 tspvanilla
    3 cups flour
    1 tbsp baking soda
    ½ lb chopped dates
    ½ lb Brazil nuts or macadamia nutz
    2 cups small candied mixed fruit or chop the big ones

    Combine butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating after each. Add cream and vanilla. Sift together flour and soda and add to butter mixture. Batter should be very stiff. More flour can be added if needed. Stir in fruit and nuts. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 9 or 10 minutes until light brown. (Do not over bake.) Makes about 5 dozen.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    "At Christmastime, a little gnome or elf called Nisse, who guards all the farm animals, plays tricks on Norwegian children who do not place a bowl of special porridge for him. He is said to be a goat-like creature known as Julebukk or 'Christmas buck'. Julebukk dates back to Vikings and pagan traditions of worshipping Thor and his goat. In those times, a person dressed in a goatskin used to carry a goat head would suddenly burst in a party, 'die' sometime in the evening and then return to life.

    Early Christians started associating goat with the devil and used it only during wild merry-making and euphoria. After the Middle Ages, the State and the Church forbade the game and a tamer form emerged. A holiday cookie called Sand Kager is quite popular, which is prepared using butter, sugar, flour and chopped almonds. In the afternoons, children go from door to door to ask for treats and goodies. Traditional Christmas dinner for Norwegians consist of lye-treated codfish, boiled potatoes, rice porridge, gingerbread and punch."

    This one is really cool....
    "Generally people accept their Christmas tradition without question. They do not stop to consider that these customs are a kind of museum, showing glimpses of their forefathers' way of life and beliefs, of pagan cults as well as of ancient Christian traditions.

    But Christmas, the great Christian festival, has assimilated customs from many religions. And each country has woven its own special Christmas traditions from a tangle of various threads, all leading back through the centuries.

    The evergreen Christmas tree conveys the idea of vitality and growth, in spite of winter and the dark period, and incorporates pagan as well as Christian symbols. The mistletoe we acquired from the Celts, the holly from the Saxons, and the custom of giving gifts was taken from a Roman New Year festival. The people of Norway have among their own Christmas customs some that can be traced back to the pagan sacrificial offerings of their viking forebears.

    Even Yule, or Norwegian "Jul", which is the name for the Holiday, dates back to pre-Christian times. Joulu or Lol was a pagan feats celebrated all over Northern Europe.

    Historians differ as to what kind of feast this "joulu" was, also as to the exact time of the year when it was celebrated, although there is general agreement that it must have fallen on some date during late autumn or early winter. Most of them agree that it was not only a fertility feast, but that it was also, or somehow came to be associated with, a sacrificial feast for the dead.

    This combination may sound strange to modern ears. But in an agricultural society, tied to the yearly cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter, and of birth and reproduction and death, it might have seemed natural to link together fertility and death - life's emergence from and return to the unknown.

    The oldest of our customs seems to be remnants of this feast. They have to do with sacrifices to the gods and to the dead, and they generally concern food and drink.

    A Norse skald who lived about the year A.D. 900, a hundred years or so before Norway became a Christian country, said about his king:
    He drinks Yule at sea,
    If he has his way,
    The far-sighted chieftain.

    In the same connection the skald mentions Frøy, the god of fertility, and the lay thus indicates the ancient origin of one or two of the traditions mentioned above.

    One is the special "juleøl", the Yuletime beer that is brewed on the farms, and in modern times also by the breweries. The custom of brewing this special beer can be traced back through the centuries to the times when horns filled with beer during the Joulu festivities were dedicated to the Norse gods Odin, Frøy and Njord. But when modern-day Norwegians at Christmas time lift their glasses in the traditional Scandinavian "skål" (pronounced scawl), they give little or no thought to their viking forefathers who lifted the horns of sacrificial beer to drink for peace and a good year to come.

    The juleøl tradition survived the country's convertion to Christianity simply because people refused to give it up. And the rules wisely chosen to give the old tradition new symbolic meaning, rather than abolish it. The beer was no longer to be considered as a sacrificial drink: it was just to be called Holiday beer. And, according to one of the old laws of the land, it should be 'blessed on Christmas night, to Christ and the Virgin Mary".

    The old lay's mention of the god Frøy points to the origin of another tradition: it is believed that a pig was sacrificed to Frøy at some point during the Joulu celebration, and that it provided the main dish of the subsequent feast.

    This may be the reason why, even today, pork is served in most Norwegian homes at Christmas. But the Christmas park is prepared in many different ways. It may be a whole roast piglet, or it may be served as pressed pork, roast pork with sour cabbage, smoked ham or pickled trotters.

    The belief in the "nisse" also goes back to pagan times. His ancestry as protector of the farm can be traced back to the man who, some time during the distant past, had first cleared the land. Often this man was believed to be buried in one of the burial mounds near the houses. At Yuletide, the feast for the dead, food and drink was brought out to the mound for him, and he was believed to come out to eat and drink. During the centuries the popular image of this much respected and feared ghost changed into the letss dangerous, but still at times destructive and leprechaun-like 'nisse" of Norwegian fairy tales.

    But the "nisse" does not survive today only in Norwegian tradition. A strange intermingling has taken place between the Nordic "nisse" and the St. Nicolas of central Europe. The result is the queer mixture of gnome and bishop that American children get to know through the poem "The night before Christmas"; the jolly little Santa Claus with the red suit, the potbelly and the merry eyes. In Norway too the native "nisse" contains strong elements of the imported Santa Claus.

    However the ancestor of the "nisse" is not the only ghost supposed to be around at Yuletide; the dead were believed to travel about in great numbers during this season. Food was therefore left on the tables for them on Christmas night, or even in some places, for the entire Holiday period. It is an eerie thought, as one helps oneself to the abundance of food on the Christmas buffets of Norwegian restaurants, that the tradition of these meals probably goes back to the ghostly banquets of superstition.

    However, the abundance and variety of dishes may probably be traced to another tradition. People believed that the quantity of the food served at Christmas augured poverty or plenty in the year to come. Naturally, therefore, they outdid themselves to ensure a year of abundance.

    There are other Christmas traditions, too, that can be traced back to the early Middle Ages; the use of straw decorations and the sheaf of oats set out for the birds, for instance, and also the Christmas baking. But the origin of these customs is more uncertain. Some historians maintain that they have some connection with the old fertility feast others insist that they do not."
  9. thewarriorchild

    thewarriorchild Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Ringwood area, NJ
    I was in Fl at that time and we LOVED school bread from the Norway bakery. Make it even if you do not need to, do it, it was that good, and how odd while looking for the recipie for it that I found this here [​IMG] Everything leads back to backyard chickens doesnt it!! [​IMG]
    This one is more like me making it for the first time thankfully I will have her experience to learn from!

    When I went it had the carmel on top which was great cause it wasnt to sweet. I am looking for a recipie for the new topping because the carmel wasnt sweet like we eat [​IMG]

    How did your project come out?
  10. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Thanks for the link. The teacher hasnt graded the papers yet. We gave our speeches and I think I did pretty good.

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