A Norwegian Tradition

Lillejulaften – The Little Eve of Christmas

Every household and every country celebrates this time of year a little different. Here is one pagan tradition from Norway that been added into the festivities and kick starts the celebrations.

Gingerbread cutters on top of the dough

Firstly, spend an afternoon making gingerbread (pepperkaker – in Norwegian!) with your children to use for what you’re about to make. These are also perfect gifts for teachers, family and friends.

Riskrem on a plate with gingerbread cookies

On the 23rd December, Norwegians share a family meal of risgrøt – or rice porridge/pudding with cherry compote. Add a blanched almond in before you serve and enjoy with the homemade gingerbread.

Two pigs made out of marzipan

Whoever finds the blanched almond in their food will win the marzipan pig. (Yes Norwegians really do love marzipan enough to eat the whole lot!)

Deserts out in the snow with a candle

Leave some of the food aside and let the children take it outside to the shed for the fjøsnissen to have.

Fjøsnissen translates as a “shed goblin”. He looks after your animals during the year. But, if you don’t say thank you to him by sharing your rice pudding meal with him, he will get angry and stop looking after your animals.

It’s best to be nice to him and he will be nice back!

A big gingerbread cookie saying "god jul"
“Merry Christmas” from JetKids!