Santa Claus, Papai Noel, Babbo Natale Are Coming to Town: 5 Christmas Traditions from Around the World

1. Norway

In Nordic countries, Christmas is a festive season that helps people forget that the sun sets around 3:30 p.m. As such, the lead up to Christmas in Norway is full of parties called julebord. Typically, these are hosted by families, businesses, and even restaurants and clubs. The nightlife in cities like Oslo is bustling around this time of year, as festive-dressed partygoers make their way from one julebord to the next.

December 23 marks the official start of the holiday with a uniquely Norwegian tradition called “Little Christmas Eve.” This day is typically when nuclear families celebrate together before going out to see larger groups of relatives or friends. This is often when the final decorations are put on the Christmas tree, and families tuck into risengrynsgrøt, hot rice pudding with a single almond hidden inside.

Many families go to church on Christmas Eve, then open presents and have their festive meal after the service. Traditional foods like pork ribs or lye-cured fish are washed down with Christmas beer called juleøl.



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