Christmas | 24 postcards from the land of Norway

With Christmas comes the turning of the sun, and the promise of a new year. Enjoy these traditional and vintage Norwegian Christmas cards - 24 in all.
LA Dahlmann | talk NORWAY
The nisse-family coming out from the barn to get their Christmas porridge. | Artist: Othar Holmboe - Damm cc pdm.
The nisse-family coming out from the barn to get their Christmas porridge. | Artist: Othar Holmboe - Damm cc pdm.

In this advent calendar of images, you will find 24 examples of how artists and photographers have interpreted the spirit of the Norwegian Christmas.

The nisse, one of the most familiar creatures of Scandinavian folklore, is a frequent guest in many of the pictures. It is a being with roots stretching far back into the depths of history, long before the introduction of Christianity, which took place around the turn of the second millennium AD.

1 December

The joyful spirit of Christmas. | Artist: Wilhelm Larsen - Damm nb.no cc pdm.
The joyful spirit of Christmas. | Artist: Wilhelm Larsen – Damm nb.no cc pdm.

2 December

Christmas at Finse, Ulvik, Hordaland, Norway in 1913. | Photo: Anders Beer Wilse - Alex Vincent nb.no cc pdm.
Christmas at Finse, Ulvik, Hordaland, Norway in 1913. | Photo: Anders Beer Wilse – Alex Vincent nb.no cc pdm.

3 December

Off to Christmas celebrations. | Artist: Wilhelm Larsen - Damm nb.no cc pdm.
Off to Christmas celebrations. | Artist: Wilhelm Larsen – Damm nb.no cc pdm.

4 December

Father brings home the Christmas tree. | Artist: Jenny Nystrøm - Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.
Father brings home the Christmas tree. | Artist: Jenny Nystrøm – Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.

5 December

Wedding celebrations at Christmas. | Artist: Wilhelm Larsen - Damm nb.no cc pdm.
Wedding celebrations at Christmas. | Artist: Wilhelm Larsen – Damm nb.no cc pdm.

6 December

Two nisse-men playing cards at Christmas. | Artist: Nils Bergslien - H. Abel nb.no cc pdm.
Two nisse-men playing cards at Christmas. | Artist: Nils Bergslien – H. Abel nb.no cc pdm.

7 December

Norway at Christmas. | Photoartist unknown - Henriksen & Steen nb.no cc pdm.
Norway at Christmas. | Photoartist unknown – Henriksen & Steen nb.no cc pdm.

8 December

After Christmas porridge and beer, it is time for a good nisse-sleep. | Artist: Julius Holck - Fredrikson, John, Bog & Kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.
After Christmas porridge and beer, it is time for a good nisse-sleep. | Artist: Julius Holck – Fredrikson, John, Bog & Kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.

9 December

Christmas celebrations. | Artist: Othar Holmboe - J. H. Küenholdt A/S nb.no cc pdm.
Christmas celebrations. | Artist: Othar Holmboe – J. H. Küenholdt A/S nb.no cc pdm.

10 December

A nisse and a pig - both wanting the Christmas apple. | Artist: Jenny Nystrøm - H. Abel nb.no cc pdm.
A nisse and a pig – both wanting the Christmas apple. | Artist: Jenny Nystrøm – H. Abel nb.no cc pdm.

11 December

Christmas presents from afar. | Artist: Othar Holmboe - J. H. Küenholdt A/S nb.no cc pdm.
Christmas presents from afar. | Artist: Othar Holmboe – J. H. Küenholdt A/S nb.no cc pdm.

12 December

Two nisse-men wishing you a merry, merry Christmas. | Artist: Christian Magnus - Eberh. B. Oppi kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.
Two nisse-men wishing you a merry, merry Christmas. | Artist: Christian Magnus – Eberh. B. Oppi kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.

13 December

Singing around the Christmas tree. | Artist: Othar Holmboe - J. H. Küenholdt A/S nb.no cc pdm.
Singing around the Christmas tree. | Artist: Othar Holmboe – J. H. Küenholdt A/S nb.no cc pdm.

14 December

Merry Christmas from Norway. | Artist unknown - nb.no cc pdm.
Merry Christmas from Norway. | Artist unknown – nb.no cc pdm.

15 December

Bringing the Christmas porridge to the nisse-family in the barn. | Artist: Oscar Lærum - Fredrikson, John, Bog & Kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.
Bringing the Christmas porridge to the nisse-family in the barn. | Artist: Oscar Lærum – Fredrikson, John, Bog & Kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.

16 December

Christmas play. | Artist: Gudmund Stenersen - Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.
Christmas play. | Artist: Gudmund Stenersen – Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.

17 December

A good old Christmas nisse-party. | Artist: Thorvald Rasmussen - Mittet & Roloff nb.no cc pdm.
A good old Christmas nisse-party. | Artist: Thorvald Rasmussen – Mittet & Roloff nb.no cc pdm.

18 December

Christmas means extra food for everyone. | Artist: Gudmund Stenersen - Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.
Christmas means extra food for everyone. | Artist: Gudmund Stenersen – Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.

19 December

The barn-gnomes (nisse) are playing. | Artist: Halfdan Gran - Prospekt nb.no cc pdm.
The barn-gnomes (nisse) are playing. | Artist: Halfdan Gran – Prospekt nb.no cc pdm.

20 December

Christmas greetings from a mountain farm. | Artist: Anders Beer Wilse - nb.no cc pdm.
Christmas greetings from a mountain farm. | Artist: Anders Beer Wilse – nb.no cc pdm.

21 December

A nisse in the cowshed. | Artist: Halfdan Gran - Prospekt nb.no cc pdm.
A nisse in the cowshed. | Artist: Halfdan Gran – Prospekt nb.no cc pdm.

22 December

A nisse is getting a Christmas ride with a witch. | Artist: Gustav Lærum - Eberh. B. Oppi kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.
A nisse is getting a Christmas ride with a witch. | Artist: Gustav Lærum – Eberh. B. Oppi kunstforlag nb.no cc pdm.

23 December

Reading from the Bible at Christmas. | Artist: Jenny Nystrøm - Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.
Reading from the Bible at Christmas. | Artist: Jenny Nystrøm – Mittet & Co. AS nb.no cc pdm.

24 December

The nisse-family coming out to get their Christmas porridge. | Artist: Othar Holmboe - Damm cc pdm.
The nisse-family coming out from the barn to get their Christmas porridge. | Artist: Othar Holmboe – Damm cc pdm.

Our most recent posts

My Norwegian heritage

From the early 1800s and well into the 1900s, Norway was a significant exporter of natural ice. But how did they prevent the ice from melting?
Some vintage photos - and more to come.
It was midsummer 1895. An older man was found drifting in the fjord just outside Moss, Norway - shot in the temple with a revolver. Who was he?
The modern human has a tendency to judge its forebears and their way of life solely based on the reality of our own time.
In 1938, Queen Maud died unexpectedly during a visit to the United Kingdom. But what happened to her unentombed coffin when the Germans attacked Norway in 1940?
It is said that all people are equal in Heaven. But the historical churchyard shows us that no such equality applied here on Earth.
The Heddal stave church - stavkirke - is Norway's largest remaining building of its kind. It is a woodwork masterpiece, with a history that stretches back more than 800 years.
Here is a collection of some wonderful vintage photos, showing a handful of Norwegians and their lives.
Magne Løvstuen and his family adopted this moose calf after saving it from drowning in Lake Mjøsa.
In the year AD 1537, King Christian 3 of Denmark-Norway embraced the Lutheran Reformation, and the Norwegians went from being Catholics to Protestants. The king confiscated the Catholic Church’s considerable wealth, a welcomed addition to the royal coffers. Norway more or less ceased to exist as a sovereign state and became a province under Denmark.
Here are 12 historical photos representing the fascinating Sami culture - with deep roots in the Norwegian and Nordic landscape.
In 1997, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway came to the Norwegian Sami Assembly with an essential and overdue apology.
1769 was the year of the first complete Norwegian census. Today, Norway has a population of more than 5 million, in 1769 the number was 723,618.
The horse settled in the Scandinavian landscape after the last ice age. Let us meet this majestic animal - and follow in its footsteps.
In 1942, Hans Hyldbakk wrote the history of the local cotter's holdings in Surnadal, Nordmøre, Norway. The book was updated in 1966.
On 18 November 1905, after a supportive referendum, the Norwegian parliament unanimously elected the Danish Prince Carl as the country’s new king.
With the Bronze age came a new and important phase in human history and development: mankind learned how to make tools and other objects from a metal they called bronze.
Are you looking for a Norwegian-to-English dictionary that includes old-fashioned words and dialect words? Then Einar Haugen’s book is your best pick.
Bergen is Norway's second-largest city and one of the country's oldest urban locations. The first post-viking king, Olav Kyrre, gave it market-town-status around AD 1070.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Here are some examples of how the old Norwegians used Mother Nature’s very own remedies to cure their ailments.
On 9 April 1940, German forces attacked Norway in the early hours of the morning. The Norwegian armed forces attempted to stave off the attack, but they were in no way prepared for this monumental task.

Follow us on social media

Norwegian history