Jul or jol is the term used for the Christmas holiday season in Norway. Originally, “jul” (or “jol”) was the name of a month in the old Germanic calendar, corresponding roughly to the time from mid-December through mid-January, and the concept of “jul” as a period of time rather than a specific event, prevails in Norway.
Share the festivities by posting your favourite TREATS & TRADITIONS for the season later today and visiting our blogger Holiday party!
You are invited to post photos, essays, jokes, recipes … anything you’d like to share at our virtual holiday social.
Scandinavian Tradition of Jul
Whereas the start of “Jul” proper is a five-week event it consists of five phases: Advent, Julaften, Romjul, Nyttår, and Epiphany, which is the thirteenth, and final day of the season.
Scandinavian Nisse Tradition
Once a mythological elf, in modern times, the bearded man, or elf, called “Jule Nisse,” sometimes makes an appearance in Norwegian homes, and if he does, he brings gifts. Classic songs have been written about the nisse, and nisse figurines are found in a wide variety of shapes and styles, used as decoration in the home.
Fjøsnisse, the one that eats porridge in the barn, a guardian of good/bad luck, seems to be dying out in the minds of Norwegian children. Television, globalisation and mass-marketing are gradually replacing him with Santa Claus.
“The American nisse is here to stay,” ethnologist Ann Helen Bolstad Sjelbred recently reported. Lots of children growing up in Norway today, she said, barely know who the barn nisse is, and expect the new nisse to bring them presents.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian towns of Drøbak, Røros, Longyearbyen and Egersund have each been claiming the Norwegian Nisse as their own. Local politicians in Drøbak, south of Oslo, even passed a resolution declaring that their town is his official home.
Later today I will compare this to an Australian Christmas posting for a joint Holiday blogger party, posting simultaneously around the world, at 8pm, Australia E.S.T. in conjunction with the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge. Join us then.
Sandy has all the details.