How we start to celebrate Christmas in Norway.
Lille jul – Little Christmas – in Norway is not just a song. We celebrate it 23rd of December. This day Norwegian families should decorate juletre — Christmas tree. However, you will find them decorated for many days before, due to impatient of our modern children. Christmas trees embellished with candles or white lights, Norwegian flags, apples, red harts, cornets, straw ornaments, balls of glass, tinsels and even colorful paper baskets made by the children in the family. The indoors are decked up with lovely flowers such as hyacinths and red tulips.
This day is also time to bake the Christmas cakes. And all children are involved in the baking process. They should bake 7 traditional types of cookies:
• Krancekaka – multi floor’s pyramids of roundish cakes
• Fattigman – Poor man
• Smultringer – Donuts
• Krumkaker – Curved cakes
• Sandkaker – Sand cakes
Dinner time on Lillejul or Little Christmas, family sit at the table and wait for special desert – risegrøt – rice porridge.
An almond is often hidden in the porridge, and the person who finds it wins a treat or small gift– usually a marzipan pig.
In some regions of the country, the porridge dish is usually placed outside (in a barn, outhouse or even in the forest) to please «Julenissen»(«Santa Claus» — as called in Norway).