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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class - Holidays in Norway Series at NorwegianClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Norwegian holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2 - Christmas Eve. In Norwegian, it’s called juleaften.
In modern Norway, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, December 24, but back in the old days, Christmas was celebrated according to the Catholic tradition, and Christmas Day was the most important day. Eventually traditions such as putting up Christmas trees, or juletre, and giving gifts, in Norwegian called gave, came to Norway, and now most people enjoy celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how Norwegians celebrate Christmas.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what Norwegians put in the Christmas porridge?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Christmas shows on TV are an important part of Christmas morning in many Norwegian homes. Many Norwegians feel that the Christmas spirit is not complete until they have seen the Czech-German fairytale “Three Nuts for Cinderella”, which in Norwegian is called “Tre nøtter til Askepott”, Disney's Christmas medley, and the Norwegian fairytale “Reisen til Julestjernen” meaning “Journey to the Christmas Star”.
Early in the evening, the entire family gathers to eat Christmas dinner together. Some families eat meat as their main course, while others choose to eat fish. Pork ribs, or ribbe, and lye fish, or lutefisk, are two big Christmas classics. In addition, there are potatoes and sauerkraut to round out the meal. Small shot glasses are set on the table and are filled with akevitt, which means akvavit, a Norwegian spirit made from potatoes. This Aquavit is said to help with the digestion of the rich Christmas food.
At night, people gather in their living rooms to sing Christmas songs while standing in a circle around the Christmas tree. They’ll usually unwrap the gifts that lie under the Christmas tree, and often the youngest person must read the names on the gifts and give them out.
In homes with young children, Santa Claus, or julenissen, will come to visit in the evening with a bag full of gifts. He will always ask the same question: “Have you been nice this year?” And if the kids reply with “yes”, they will receive a gift.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what Norwegians put in the Christmas porridge?
The answer is an almond. The person who gets the almond in his or her bowl wins a prize, which is a marzipan pig called “marsipangris”. Many Norwegians try their hardest to get the almond, and end up eating way too much porridge
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate Christmas?
Leave us your comments on NorwegianClass101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.

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NorwegianClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Do you know what Norwegians put in the Christmas porridge?

NorwegianClass101.com
Saturday at 1:36 pm
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Hello John,


Thank you for posting.

That's right! We put almond in the Christmas porridge. :smile:


Let us know if you have any question.

Cheers,

Mai

Team NorwegianClass101.com

John
Tuesday at 9:40 am
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Almond