I have not really thought that one day I will spend and celebrate Christmas in Norway. It is actually my first Christmas in my life that I had a chance to celebrate. Coming from post-Soviet country, where Christmas has been always considered a European holiday, we are not used to celebrate it.
Last 2017 year brought me many challenges but also joy. One of the most important and best gift I have received is that I have met a man who loves me just the way I am and who comes from Norway.
My Norwegian boyfriend has been dreaming to come back for Christmas to his hometown as he believes Christmas is a time for all family to gather together and share a joy.
It is a busy time before Christmas as everyone starts buying gifts for all family members. We followed this little tradition and I bought presents for everyone on a Christmas market. As it is very common in each Norwegian city to have Christmas markets to be opened these days.
What I found out is that the Christmas tree is usually decorated on 23rd of December, just before the Christmas eve. This tradition is not common for all the families but it is mostly considered a right time to place a Christmas tree (Juletre).
On 24th of December the celebration started. It started from making a nice table with special Christmas utensils and red table cloth. I found out that red is a very popular colour during Christmas. Red colour is used for table cloth, plates, cups, paper tissues.
What fascinated me the most is that Santa has quite a different perception in Norway. Here Santa is believed to be a troll who is small and short. He believed to live in a barn. On a Christmas eve, children and adults leave some food in the barn to feed Santa and if Santa does not like it or food is not given to him then he can come over and do some nasty things during Christmas.
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The house is usually decorated with statues of angels, stars and Santa dolls who look like small trolls wearing red cone shape hats.
For Christmas lunch Norwegians like to have various types of cheese, salted salmon, bacon slices, well baked bread, and various jams and mustard.
After lunch, all family likes to go to a church to listen to Christmas corals. We also went to one of the church in a town. I found it to be very beautiful church decorated with Christmas tree and candles. The choir was signing very well and they were also performing one of the most famous song in Norway during Christmas which is called Glade Jul (Happy Christmas). During the performance snow started. It was a magical moment with choir singing and snow falling!
For the Christmas dinner we had pork ribs or in Norwegian it is called svineribbe. Svineribbe is one of the traditional dishes during Christmas and it is usually served with boiled potatoes, Brussel cabbage, carrot and green pea porridge.
After the amazing dinner, the most fun and awaited part happened. We started to open all gifts!
That evening I received amazing and very thoughtful gifts from the family of my boyfriend! I will never forget my first Jul!