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Party Life
Here we present unique experiences from the wild partylife around the world.

Christmas celebration in Norway unlikely without Santa Claus - Part 1 of 2

Nissen as we call him in Norway is on his way to deliver his Christmas presents. He is the real Santa Claus and travels everywhere. Everybody look forward meeting him again. Santa gives presents to everybody - good, bad and ugly. It's impossible to imagine a Christmas without Santa Claus even though we are celebrating for other reasons. But what say the Finnish people about Santa?

So far I haven't succeed convincing Finnish people about that Santa Claus is Norwegian. They still claim that he lives on the top of the Korvatunturi Mountain in Lapland in northern Finland, not so far from Rovaniemi. The Finnish have made Santa Claus a big tourist attraction for people all over the world. Anyway if not Santa Claus drink too much Norwegian Akevitt (Aquavit) or Finnish Koskenkorva and Finlandia Vodka (Finland), he will show up on Christmas Eve both in Norway and Finland this time too.
Photo. Santa Claus is from Norway (sometimes without beard).

Santa Claus is the world's best traveller and speaks every language. He can go everywhere. So when the Norwegian Santa Claus shows up in Finland, the Finnish believe he is from Finland. And when he drinks Koskenkorva, Finlandia vodka, Salmiakki, Koff beer and sings Finnish Christmas drinking songs, there is not a shadow of doubt in their mind that he has to be Finnish!

Even the Swedish claim that Santa Claus is from their country. The Danish shouldn't say anything because they have no Reindeers which can drag the Santa Claus around. Here in Norway we have a really big competition with our country neighbours, with strong passion and national feelings. It's related to so high prestige, but why? What`s the point?

Image. Santa on his way with fast transportation.

He travels smart by using reindeers so he avoids traffic chaos.

I am sure that many people around the world consider us in Nordic countries as very strange discussion this matter. Actually it's a very childish discussion. Each year we have a quarrel about the origins of Santa Claus and where he lives. To stop this silly discussion once and for all, I will hereby present the finale proof. It's one thing we all agree about is that Santa Claus is a man. Even though the biggest women chauvinists have to admit that! But in a weak moment some interesting observations in Oslo nearly changed my mind about that (see photo below - see also photo above from the wild party place Johns Bar in Oslo). 

Photo. Santa appears sometimes without beard.

Santa girls celebrating Christmas at Johns Bar i Oslo.

Celebration of the Christmas Pre-season
The beautiful with snow around makes us happy and it creates a unique atmosphere. At the moment it's Akevitt (Aquavit)- and Lutefisk time in Norway. Lutefisk (Layefish; special cooked fish) is a fish you can't fish, and Akevitt is our national drink that drives us crazy. To be more precise regarding the drink: Akevitt is a type of strong alcoholic spirit produced in Norway. It's distilled from potatoes, usually flavoured with caraway. Akevitt (aqua vitae) means "the water of life". Norwegians love Akevitt and beer together with Lutefisk, mutton and cabbage.

The weeks before Christmas are often called julebordsesongen in Norway, or literally "Christmas table season". This celebration has a true Viking style with many happy Norwegians singing, making a lot of noise and drinks themselves under the table. Many of them are dressed up like Santa Claus, but that it's just a disguise trick to make a good impression. Of course it gives them a good feeling pretending to be Santa Claus. Unfortunately sometimes they forget to act as one.

Photo. Here is a Santa with good manner - so far......

He likes to spread happiness all around, especially to the Santa girls.

Many adults have lived a peaceful life during the whole year, but when it comes to Christmas Pre-season they forget to behave well ("Det går rett i fletta"). This is very typically family people. They are like wild bears coming out from the lair after weeks of sleeping (hibernating). Sometimes they just say: "Excuse me, I am on Julebord".  

At the same time the children have started their extra efforts to prove their good behaviour for Santa Claus. It could be rewarding when it comes to the number and size of the presents.

Photo. The boy is very proud of his snowman.

He also claim that he has been a good boy, so he hope that Santa Claus has noticed that.

Christmas Celebration in Norway
Me and my Soumi (Finland) wife Sirpa are now busy preparing for Christmas celebration. Christmas celebrations vary around the world. There is also a large variety of traditions within a given country or area. The following is a short description of how we celebrate Christmas in Norway. Some things are typical for many Norwegians, others not.

Photo. Santa is coming. The tension rise to big heights.

The Christmas in Norway is both popular for children and adults. Before Christmas, the children count down the days with their advent calendars.

We in Norway usually have both homemade calendars and store bought calendars with colourful pictures. Inside the calendar there are usually chocolates or marzipan.

For each day from the 1 December to the Christmas Eve, the children open a "door" to a small room in the calendar where they find a chocolate or some other surprises.

Shopping in Christmas is a nightmare
Head over heels? This time we got early snow in Norway. Experts say that the snow has created a wonderful atmosphere, and caused extra high shopping activity. The pushing, the shoving, the wrestling over price-reduced products leave many men wary of ever shopping again. I just feel lucky that I survived unharmed so far. Some people get so fed up by the stress and pressure that they hire professional help to buy their Christmas presents.  It's their way to get more quality time so they can relax. Other try Yoga for against stressing in Christmas (recommended by the National newspaper Aftenposten).

Photo. Time for relaxing. Father and son have some fun together on snow.

They really understand how to enjoy Christmas time!

Women love shopping. Many of them have "Black belt in shopping". It`s their favourite waste of time. Research (surveys) on consumers' behaviour shows that when women take their men on a shopping tour, they buy 50 % more than usual. In Christmas I guess that this percent goes up to 4 - 5 more. It's the men's nightmare. That's why the men try everything to avoid going shopping with their wife or girlfriend. It could be very boring and expensive for them, and many men get broke. They also have to carry a lot. But since the Viking era is gone, the women in Norway are now the bosses, and the men have to do as they say, or they are in really big trouble. Poor Norwegian men!

This article is especially dedicated to all the Finnish people, and it continues in part 1.

Stein Morten Lund, 8 December 2004

Additional information
Read more about the Party life in Norway and Finland on our website. 

Read about Christmas parties at Johns Bar in Oslo. Santa Claus could also be a women..........

More information about traditional Christmas dinners in Norway:
A traditional Christmas dinner generally features roast pork ribs in Eastern Norway, and cod, halibut or lutefisk in the coastal districts, even though migration has virtually erased these culinary boundary lines. 

The time-honoured rice porridge is still served, but seldom at the main Christmas meal in the evening. More and more Norwegians are turning to turkey, a type of poultry that has not been as common here as in other countries.

Other Christmas specialities include a variety of sweet and salted delicacies. These are as head cheese, prepared in the Danish and German fashion, rather than the French, mutton roll, a similar dish made of lamb, Smoked leg of lamb, many different types of marinated herring, pork sausages and meatballs.

Lutfisk - Lye fish:
Lutefisk is a typical Norwegian speciality and one of our oldest dinners. It has become an increasingly popular choice for pre-Christmas festivities. The process for preparing it is advanced. The fish must first be pounded with a wooden hammer and then soaked in water for many hours. Adding wood ash lye to the water makes the fish particularly soft and flavourful. With right choice of Christmas beer and Akevitt it gives you a unique tasteful adventure.

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