Christmas is a major holiday here and Norwegians go all out in terms of celebrating the season. There are lights EVERYWHERE and Christmas trees all over the city at central points. The tradition I’ll be discussing today will be the lighting of the Christmas tree.
The people who run Fantoft are great because they see the value of recognizing traditions. The tradition of tree lightings can be found all over America, yet the cities that stand out for me are New York and San Francisco. We accompany these nights with lots of hot chocolate and singing holiday songs.
In Bergen, we celebrated by drinking gløgg, clementines, and gingerbread cookies. When made right, gløgg is the most delicious beverage you will ever consume. It’s made by adding water to a combination of spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and more. Raisins and cut up almonds are added too! This was the tastiest drink I have ever had. As festive music played, a fellow exchange student dressed as Santa Clause walked around handing out heart-shaped gingerbread cookies and small clementines.
The tree in the right of the picture wasn’t a traditional Christmas tree, but it was worked just as well drapped in lights and accompanied by a countdown. The city of Bergen also hosts a tree lighting as well. I’ll have to post about that as well.
Tip: You can make gløgg from scratch. If you buy the packaged version, buy it before the stores jack up the prices. You can also buy it after the season too.