Christmas Quick Facts - NO

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2023 Date25 December 2023
2024 Date25 December 2024


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Christmas, globally acknowledged as both a sacred religious holiday and a popular cultural celebration, is observed as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Central to the observance of Christmas are traditions such as exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church services, and sharing special meals with family and friends. Yet a distinctive feature of the Christmas observance is the way traditions can vary across different countries, coloured by unique cultural elements.

For the people in Norway, Christmas or 'Jul' is deeply steeped in rich traditions and long history. These traditions remit back to the pre-Christian era, the time of the winter solstice celebration known as Yule. Today, the customs associated with 'Jul' seamlessly blend Christian elements with traditional pagan Yule practices, providing the Norwegian Christmas celebrations a distinct character. Moreover, Norwegians place high value on spending time with family and friends during this season, and Christmas dinner gatherings featuring traditional Norwegian dishes are an inherent part of the holiday's observance.

In Norway, the observance of Christmas begins officially on December 1st with the start of Advent, with many Norwegians marking the countdown with Advent calendars. The primary celebration takes place on Christmas Eve, the 24th of December, which is viewed as the most significant day of Christmas. On this day, many Norwegian families partake in a late-evening feast, followed by the distribution of gifts. The festivities extend to December 25th and 26th, termed as First and Second Christmas Day, typically spent attending church services and visiting relatives. The observance of Christmas in Norway concludes on January 13th, known as '20th Day Knut', marking the official end of the holiday season.

Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for Christmas -

Christmas facts

  • During the 4th Century A.D., Bishop Nicolas of Smyrna was known to be very generous to the poor, especially to children. He was later given the title of Saint Nicholas and is patron saint of children.
  • Constantine the Great named the holiday and set the date for Jesus' birth as being December 25th. This happened in 325 A.D.
  • The Christmas tree is a custom that is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century. Candles and decorations that are lit represented the light of Christ in the world.

Top things to do in Norway for Christmas

  • Attend a Christmas Eve service at a local church. Many churches offer midnight mass. Alternately, watch the Pope's annual Christmas eve service broadcast live from the Vatican.
  • Many churches hold pageants for children that involve playing the parts of the nativity scene. Go to one of these events or put up a nativity scene in your home.

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