Hello Oslo tells us about Christmas Traditions in Norway

Welcome to our guest blog post by Hello Oslo, a fantastic site for discovering the best places to visit in Oslo, championing local businesses and entrepreneurs. They showcase bars, restaurants, hidden spots and hiking trails. Give them a follow on Instagram and when you do get to travel to the city, you’ll know all the best places to go!

In this post, Hello Oslo share with us the top Christmas traditions that are experienced in Norway during the festive period.

Cultural Events

It is quite common to attend a Christmas concert or theatre performance and go to all kinds of markets.

Oslo Christmas market by the fire (Photo Credit: Magnus Furset / Visit Norway)

Workplace Tradition

We call it Julebord. It is a Christmas dinner that companies arrange for the employees before holidays. It is a real celebration and probably the craziest party of the year. Everyone says cheers for every reason and all the time. The good thing is that no matter what happens, the next time you are going to meet your colleagues you all gonna act like nothing happened, cause you probably made a fool out of yourself.

group of people sitting on a couch holding drinks

Friends Tradition

Making Gingerbread houses is not only a family activity. A lot of Norwegians invite all their adult friends to make a gingerbread competition the weeks before Christmas. Its great time to catch up before the holidays and enjoy good wine while getting this childish feeling of creating those houses. Do not get me wrong, we get crazy competitive, people been practising all their life for this moment.

Good Family Times

On the 23rd we get the opportunity to decorate the Christmas tree, many eat rice porridge with sugar, cinnamon, and buttermilk. In the porridge we hide an almond, and whoever finds the almond in their portion, wins a marzipan pig! We also have the tradition of putting out Christmas porridge for Santa to make him happy. How sweet is that?


There are a lot of different Christmas dishes – A LOT – and it depends a bit where you are from. In my opinion the dish that everyone is dying to have every year is pinnekjøtt, or in English “rack of lamb” . It is salted and dried ribs of sheep (or goat) that has been used especially as a party food for Christmas since the 18th century, but it has probably been common even earlier than this, since salting and smoking are preservation methods that go far back in that time.

close up of meal served in plate

Guest Article provided by Hello Oslo / www.hello-oslo.no

Images provided by Visit Norway & Visit Oslo

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