Christmas Around the World is a ten-part series. This audio podcast on Norway is narrated by Ed Stortro, who created this series. His father grew up in Norway and immigrated to Canada and the U.S. Ed Stortro was born in Vancouver, Canada, and has lived in the States since he was five.
Ed Stortro: According to tradition, church bells are heard chiming in all the cities of Norway calling the people to church at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when celebrations begin.Many weeks before, the familes are busy making gifts for Christmas and preparing food to be stored against the long winter. Cheese and sausages are made. Breads and animal-shaped cookies are baked. Little colored candles for the tree are finished, and the lutefisk is ready.
One of the most charming customs of Norway is the remembrance of the animals and birds, since they were the only ones present at the birth of the Holy Babe.
The farm beasts are carefully tended, and the cattle are given extra fodder. But the most beautiful of all the customs is saved for the birds. The especially gleaned sheaf, saved from the fall harvest, is placed on top of a tall pole in the yard – and on Christmas morning, every gable, gateway and barn door is decorated with a bundle of grain – the birds’ Christmas dinner.
Audio captured and edited by Ed Stortro
Audio transcription and voice over by Ed Stortro