Spikersuppa Christmas market. 
Photo: www.visitOslo.com.Spikersuppa Christmas market. Photo: www.visitOslo.com

1000 years of celebrating Christmas

An exhibition displaying the history of Christmas traditions in Norway is currently taking place at The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum) in Oslo.

The way Norwegians celebrate Christmas today is a result of a combination of elements from the older farming communities, the bourgeois traditions of the 1800s, as well as the post-war consumer culture. The exhibition “A Christmas story” (En Julefortelling) gives an introduction into some of these traditions from pagan times to the present day.

Many may not be aware of some of the older traditions and how Christmas celebrations have evolved to become what it is to most today. Some traditions have disappeared and some are new. Other traditions are more specific to a family or a region, whereas tree-decorating and a big family dinner are traditions cherished by all.

During Advent, several Christmas markets are open in Oslo. There you can find homemade gifts, sweets and listen to Christmas carols. One of the biggest Christmas markets in Oslo is at Spikersuppa, right in the city centre. It is open every day, from 11.00 to 20.00.  

For more information on Norwegian Christmas traditions, please click here (English).

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Did You Know?

The Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square in London has been donated by the city of Oslo every year since 1947 as a token of appreciation of British support to Norway during the Second World War.