Christmas in Norway
In my experience, there is nowhere more perfect to feel in the Christmas spirit than Norway. In Oslo, the night can last up to 18 hours! The city is well-prepared, and I remember it being sprinkled with Christmas lights in every street. Despite the cold (with temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius), it was impossible to be a scrooge as we armed ourselves with jumpers, coats, hats, and mittens, and joined in with the abundance of festivities which the city has to offer. Plus, we were often able to enjoy the Norwegian drink ‘glogg’ to warm us up!
One of my favourite activities was going around Christmas markets. There were a few different locations in the city where these were held, and each carried a wonderful array of handcrafted items and traditional Norwegian food. I bought jewellery and Christmas tree decorations but couldn’t bring myself to taste-test any of the ‘moose-sausages’!
Another wonderful opportunity I had was to go ice-skating. Between the lakes freezing over and free public ice-rinks, my friends and I were able to go often (but there were a few tumbles that I’ll leave out of this blog post…)
Of course I enjoyed the snow while living here. Not only did it look beautiful, but it was also great fun. My flatmates were from Ethiopia and hadn’t seen snow before, and so a cherished memory of mine is when I taught them how to build snowmen! In return, they made me a traditional Ethiopian dish to warm us up when we got back inside.
On days that my friends and I simply could not face the weather, we huddled up in our shared student accommodation to play boardgames and card games, to chat, and to bake cookies. Even though the festive time of year can be challenging when you’re studying abroad, far from home, it is worth finding out what’s going on in your town or with your university to help bring in some Christmas spirit and learn more about your culture whilst abroad.
Blog post written by Lucia Cathers
Lucia studied at Universitetet i Oslo (University of Oslo) in Norway