The History of Christmas
 Christ, Claus and the evolution of our most popular holiday


 


Reasons to believe
The World of Santa Claus

Santa figurines
Santa ornaments

Santa Carvings

Russian Santas
Handcrafted Santas

Santa carvings from Reasons to Believe


     
 

Link to us

 

Norway - Christmas traditions & customs


Norway is the birthplace of the Yule log. The ancient Norse used the Yule log in their celebration of the return of the sun at winter solstice. "Yule" came from the Norse word hweol, meaning wheel. The Norse believed that the sun was a great wheel of fire that rolled towards and then away from the earth. Ever wonder why the family fireplace is such a central part of the typical Christmas scene? This tradition dates back to the Norse Yule log. It is probably also responsible for the popularity of log-shaped cheese, cakes, and desserts during the holidays.

At 4:00 p.m. all work comes to a halt on Christmas Eve in Norway. Everyone bathes and puts on new clothes to greet the season. The largest sheaf of grain is hung out for the birds to make their Christmas merry, too. Christmas dinner begins with rice pudding with a lucky almond hidden in it for someone, and a bowl is also set out for the barn elf so that he will continue to watch over the animals and not turn mischievous. A Christmas pig provides most of the meat dishes. Traditionally the Norwegians kept the season bright with a Yule log. It literally formed the center of the celebration since it was frequently an entire tree that could only partly fit into the fireplace and so extended well out into the middle of the living room. As it burned it would be pushed farther into the fire to provide continuous light and warmth through the whole Christmas season.

The Christmas tree is taking the place of the Yule log today. The popularity of Santa Claus has resurrected an ancient Norse figure called Julesvenn. In ancient times he would come during the feast of Jul to hide lucky barley stalks around the house. Now he comes on Christmas Eve to bring gifts to good children. After Christmas Day is past, children indulge in a custom much like trick or treat. It is called Julebukk and children wear costumes and go door to door asking for goodies.

 


Reasons to Believe - Santa carvings, Santa figurines, Russian Santas, Santa ornaments and more.  Hundreds of Santa Claus gifts and collectibles to choose from.
ReasonsToBelieve.com  -  The World of Santa Claus
2004 10 Holidays  | Favorite links | contact us

 

Share your country's traditions & customs!
click here