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World Advent Calendar

by Mandy Barrow

Christmas Jokes | British Christmas | London Topic | Project Britain | Homework Help

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People in Norway put a bowl of rice pudding out for the barn elf.


Why do they do this?


If they didn't the barn elf may play tricks on them!

According to the folklore of rural Norway, there is a barn elf ("Fjøsnisse") living in the forests and on farms. This barn elf can play tricks on people if he is not well looked after.

Some people in Norway today still put out a bowl of rice porridge sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon to keep their barn elf happy.

The traditional Advent calendar in Norway is an orange with cloves stuck in it. Children remove a clove each day until none are left. They then know it is Christmas.

For most people in Norway, the main celebration is on Christmas Eve. This is the day when presents are open and the main Christmas meal is eaten.

Rice porridge is often served in the middle of the day on Christmas Eve.

Father Christmas in Norway is called Julenisse.

A traditional Christmas tree decoration is the paper heart basket. Children make the baskets with shiny, coloured paper. They then fill the baskets with sweets (candy) or nuts.


Norwegians eat Pinnekjøtt (rib of lamb) instead of turkey for their Christmas Dinner.


For pudding (dessert) they eat rice cream. The person who finds the almond hidden in the rice cream wins a prize – usually a marzipan pig.

This is very similar to the tradition in England where once a sixpence coin was hidden in the Christmas pudding. The person who found it had good luck for the rest of the year (or I suppose bad luck if they bit on the coin and broke their tooth!) For health safety reasons, people don't tend to put coins in the pudding anymore.


Children are often given a sweet red fizzy raspberry drink, julebrus, that is only available at Christmas time.

It is a very traditional Norwegian Christmas drink.


It is traditional in Norway to "circle the Christmas tree" before opening the presents. Families hold hands to form a ring around the tree, and then walk or dance around it whilst singing carols.

Christmas treeEvery year the people of Oslo, Norway give London a Christmas tree which is put up in Trafalgar Square. The tree is a thank you gift from the people of Oslo, Norway.

During the Second World War, King Haakon of Norway was forced into exile in England when the Germans occupied his country. Since 1947, Norway has expressed its thanks for the help of the British people by continuing to send a huge Norwegian spruce to be shared by all.

Find out more about Norway

Each day we have been featuring a country along with its flag.

Do you know the story behind the British flag?
Click here to read about the British Union Flag

20 days till Christmas!

Have you put up your decorations at home?


Advent Calendar

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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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