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Society & Lifestyle
Here we present unique adventures from the modern society and lifestyle.

Tigers, trolls and Santa Claus - Christmas celebration in Oslo, Norway, rises to big heights!

2007-12-12
In the dark mid winter Norwegian do everything to have some fun. On the surface Christmas in Oslo looks quite similar as any other large European city, but you when walk along the main street in Oslo, Karl Johansgate, you will see there are trolls standing outside the shops. They are both guarding the people and spreading joy.
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Photo. The main street Karl Johansgate in Oslo. © Travel Explorations.

Also this year, in the middle of December, Norwegians wait for the snow to fall, especially in the capital Oslo, but anyway the Christmas celebration has started. The Norwegian do it in their own way, especially when it comes to the wild party life.

The big Christmas tree are standing high around in the city centre, lights are twinkling and the bells are ringing.

As you can understand Norway is a country still inspired by ancient mythology and fairytales. The trolls seem very scary even with a smile in their face. Some of the trolls are shaped like Vikings, Norwegian forth fathers for 1000 years ago. Perhaps this inspire the Norwegians to party wild in Christmas.

Photo. A big Christmas tree standing in the middle of the main street in Oslo, Karl Johansgate.
© Travel Explorations.

There are colourful window and street displays, garlanded Christmas trees in public squares and throngs of shoppers in the streets and stores.  

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People run as they never have done before, and they carry big presents. With such high performances I just wonder about that many of them have hidden talent for sport. For me they look like great athletes.

Norway's traditional Christmas customs include Nisse, a gnome or an elf guarding animals. It is said in Norway that Nisse can have goat-like features (Christmas Buck, or Julebukk in Norwegian). Children serve porridge in bowls to pleasant Santa Claus so they can get more presents. As I could see on many houses in Oslo and Bærum, Christmas is the time when people put so many bulbs on the outside of their houses, you don't know if they're celebrating the birth of Jesus or General Electric.

Photo. Ice skating at Spikersuppa in the main street Karl Johansgate in Oslo.
© Travel Explorations.

Ice skating is popular among both children and adults. Music is played on a high volume so it`s possible for people to try ice dance - if they have the necessary skills.

Ice skating,Santa,Oslo,Norway,christmas,Karl Johansgate


Oslo is the city that never sleeps, especially not in the Christmas time. In many pubs and bar it’s possible to sit out and drink. It’s cold, but after some drinks the Norwegians forget the coldness. All the crazy people dressed up like Santa Claus, singing and shouting keeps the city absolute alive. They are called the wild Tigers in the city popularly called the Tiger city.

Photo. Santa Claus himself in Oslo.
© Travel Explorations.

Ho, ho, ho! What does Father Christmas suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney ? Santa Claustrophobia ! 

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic!

What do you call a letter sent up the chimney on Christmas Eve? Black mail ! 

 

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Photo. Santa girl at Churchill pub, one of Oslo`s many pubs. I really thought that Santa was a man!
© Travel Explorations.
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Photo. Deer at Churchill pub in Oslo celebrating Christmas in the Norwegian way.
© Travel Explorations.

What would a reindeer do if it lost its tail?
She’d go to a “re-tail”shop for a new one!

oslo,christmas,santa claus,party life,trolls,norway,capital

In 1998 Oslo celebrated its 1000 in new millennium. The motto of the anniversary was "Tigerville:  the city that leaves marks." According to Lord Mayor Ditlev-Simonsen, the tiger was chosen as a symbol because of its historical significance. After being attacked by Christiania's politicians at the end of the 1860s and beginning of the 1870s, the Norwegian writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsen compared the capital of Norway to a tiger. In contrast, his beloved rural Norway was compared to a good, old work horse.

Photo. Two wild Tigers celebrating Christmas in the Norwegian way.
© Travel Explorations.
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Photo. Two laydies in Oslo celebrate Christmas in the Norwegian way.
© Travel Explorations. 
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Photo. Dancing to Christmas songs at Hotel Continential in Oslo. © Travel Explorations.oslo,christmas,santa claus,party life,trolls,norway,capital

At the time, the tiger metaphor was not meant as a compliment to Oslo. In later years, though, Tigerville has become an endearing term that illustrates Oslo as Norway's only big city with the dangers and challenges of a Western city. It has the recent years been most associated with the wild party life. In the Christmas joy and happiness is on top in Oslo, especially among the wild Tigers, but also the Trolls. They all celebrate it in the Norwegian way.  

Stein Morten Lund, 12 December 2007, updated 14 December 2007.

Additional information
Read more about Santa Claus and traditional Christmas celebration on our website.

Read about Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland.

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