Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. This is our first time we are going to celebrate Christmas. We feel ourselves lucky as we get opportunity to celebrate this festival with other delegates from Colombia and Madagascar in Røros which is a historical place of Norway.
We can compare the Christmas traditions of Norway with two big festivals of Nepal (Dashain and Tihar). In Dashain, all family members gather together, buy new clothes and eat good foods; and people here in Norway do the same in Christmas. In Tihar, we clean our houses and decorate the house with flowers and colourful lights; and in Norway people do those things during Christmas, they decorate Christmas tree, windows and sometimes whole house with lights. They also decorate streets with lights and the whole city looks beautiful and bright.
In Norway, Christmas is celebrated throughout the month of December. People light one candle on each Sunday in their house and it will be four candles on Christmas day. During these four weeks, people are busy in decorating houses, baking cakes and biscuits, buying gifts & Christmas cards for friends and family. People often go to the Christmas parties with friends & family and they call it “julebord” in Norwegian.
December 23 is called ``Little Christmas Eve``. Many families have their own traditions this evening, such as decorating the Christmas tree, making a gingerbread house, or eating risengrynsgrøt; a hot rice pudding served with sugar, cinnamon and butter. An almond is hidden in the pudding, and if the almond turns up in your portion, you win a marzipan pig!
Christmas Eve, December 24 is the main event in Norwegian Christmas celebration. The first part of the day is often spent rushing around for the last Christmas presents, or in church for Christmas service. At five the bells ring out for Christmas, and most people have Christmas dinner at home or with relatives. The Christmas presents have been placed under the tree, and are opened after dinner.
Today its December 24 and we are very excited to celebrate Christmas eve with our friends from Colombia, Madagascar and Norway.
Don't forget to read our next blog where we will share how we celebrated the Christmas in Norway.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas.
Prakriti and Deepak.