But “Advent” is also the name for the period leading up to Christmas, and in Norway there are some special customs to be followed during these weeks. For instance, it’s common to light a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and then light another candle each Sunday until the big day. These candles are often left in windowsills, so they can shine out at passers-by. Driving through a town or village at night, and seeing these little lights winking at you from every house, is a truly magical experience.
Last week, we explored locally and checked out what our new home of Stavanger has to offer in terms of Christmas. Turns out, a lot! From a Christmas market of the unusual sort, to a stunning gingerbread village at the Oil Museum, to absolutely gorgeous fairy lights all over the city!Stavanger is such a lovely town and you should definitely consider visiting in winter to skip (most of) the crowds and experience the Christmas magic :)
Apart from the cosy wooden market huts, where you can buy chocolate, cured ham, smoked salmon and Christmas decorations, there is a farmer’s market with local fresh produce, delicious cheese, jam and, my personal favourite, herbed butter. There are also concerts, theatrical plays, quizzes, and mysteries. Lastly, you’ll find the most unique cafe in a huge Sami tent, a lavvo tent, where you’ll be able to enjoy special Christmas beer or hot chocolate. It’s magic!
Haugesund is a fishing town situated halfway between Bergen and Stavanger, in Karmøy municipality of Rogaland county of Norway. It's just 2-hour drive from here, making it the perfect place for a day trip! The town itself is super charming. Very similar to Stavanger when it comes to architecture, weather and views, but without all the crowds. See it for yourself in my Vlogmas video!
There is lots of amazing Christmas content from the Nordic countries out there, that I'd like to share with you today. Whether Christmas is the only time for you to unwind and relax too, or whether you're just looking for more content to get into the spirit - here's a list of my favourite Nordic bloggers and the Christmas blog posts (and vlogs) they've published over the years, as well as some Christmas inspiration from other media!
When we finally reached the gathering site, I was wondering whether everyone would be okay with me taking pictures, to which Simon replied that it's fine, as long as I provide context. Apparently, many people with little to no knowledge about reindeer herding often mistake some of the practices as torture or mistreatment and thus, I thought it would make an interesting topic to write about for those of you who are interested in learning more about the culture of the Sami.
It's been 2,5 months since we moved from Tromsø to Stavanger and to be honest, I had quite a few expectations about autumn in Western Norway. I was picturing myself going chestnut picking, going for long walks in the forest and enjoying the fact that it doesn't snow in Stavanger in September.
For some reason, crime novels have become really popular here in Norway during Easter so everyone buys a few before heading to the cabin. In fact, the traditional Easter Crime has become so important, that there's one printed on the side of the milk cartons. It’s a crime cartoon and people can solve the crime and send in their answers to win a prize after the holidays.
SPiS transforms into an a la carte restaurant in the evening and admittedly, I didn't quite get how that would fit to a hostel/budget hotel at first but the key here is that SPiS isn't just popular among tourists but also among locals, and especially so at the weekends! The place was packed so if you're staying here during the weekend, definitely make sure to order a table in advance!
Now I'm not sure whether "pancake cakes" are actually authentically Swedish. Simon's only remark was "I'm half-Swedish and I have never heard about this before". Yeah, now he's suddenly so proud of his Swedish heritage but when I tell him that I want to move to Sweden he suddenly becomes very Norwegian again... Anyhow, I have to admit that I've seen cakes like this on a hygge comfort food book cover before so I question its deep-rooted Swedish origin as well. But they looked good and they certainly tasted good!
It’s almost Christmas and time to tell you how we Norwegians spend Christmas! Christmas for me has become less about the presents and more about the food. Therefore, that’s where we will start. There are generally three types of food that are connected with Christmas and those are Svineribbe (pork ribs), Pinnekjøtt (lamb meat) and Lutefisk (Lutefish).
Have you ever wondered about Norwegian myths and our fascination with trolls? Let’s start with the obvious. What are trolls? Trolls are actually a collective name for many different humanoid creatures. They can be traced all the way back to Norse mythology. Their looks and attributes vary from source to source but they are usually depicted as stupid and dangerous.
Are you excited for Christmas yet or do you need the special Nordic extra to get you in the holiday spirit? Well I certainly hope that you enjoy baking as I'm sharing a recipe for typically Scandic Christmas goodies today: Lussekatter! Now lussekatter literally translate to lucy cats but what they really are is safran buns that are typically eaten in Sweden, Norway and Denmark to celebrate St. Lucia.
When you hear the words "Norwegian fashion", do you think of reindeer sweaters and Christmas? Well, no one blames you! Norwegians are indeed known for their rather casual clothing but that doesn't mean that Norwegian fashion is boring. Quite the contrary! For this part of the series Typisk Norsk-Typically Norwegian, I therefore want to focus on Norwegian clothing - from traditional costumes to street style!
Welcome back to Typisk Norsk (= Typically Norwegian) – a series on all the little quirks of Norwegians that make it so interesting to live in this country! Today I'm telling you all about the Norwegian concept of "kos"!
Ever wondered what Norwegian cuisine has to offer? Well for the first post in a new series highlighting Norwegian culture, I'll tell you all about the typical and totally weird Norwegian foods people in the North are so crazy about!
Special treat for you: I have the boyfriend over to tell you all about what life as a reindeer herder in the Arctic is like. Simon tells you everything you never knew about what reindeers herders do in the 8 different Sami seasons!
The festival started out to celebrate and strengthen the rights of the Sea Sami community in the area but quickly grew to become one of the most important indigenous festivals in the North. Each year, people from Canada, the US, Russia, and Asia come to participate and celebrate together.