The lighting of the Christmas tree is a social tradition in every city in Norway on the first Sunday of Advent. Today was extra special for us as we got to share in Lilu’s delight. Half way through the celebration I found myself alone in the middle of the crowd and realised how strange everything was. I’m sure when you watch the video you’ll notice some strange but interestng things too. Norwegians are certainly a curious people.
A list of random things in the video:
Most kids are wearing vest reflectors (including Lilu) for traffic safety. The julenisse is a girl in a beard. Presents are handed out from a garbage bag. Everyone claps after the performances but it is very hard to hear as it is muffled by their gloves. The Arctic Cathedral lays in the darkness on the mainland – the first time I’ve seen it have no lights on. The Christmas tree is lit with house lights. There are so many people that kids have to sit on their dad’s shoulders so they can see (and not get squished). The City Hall has flickering lights to represent Aurora. The last song sung (Deilig er jorden) is the last song sung at every social Christmas event. There is no fence around the Christmas tree (which would give any non-Norwegian health and safety officer a heart attack) – in fact, kids played right under it, swinging off the branches. Only one musically challenged guy was leading the singing. It was the fifth anniversary for the Tromsø Christmas song sung at this event and it was declared that this new tradition had now been established. The moon looked like the Northern Star next to the Christmas tree. I’m usually a steady camera operator – the jerks and shakes were the effect of people bumping into me. The MC told everyone that the Lighting would happen after the Tromsø Christmas song but the lighting guy got trigger happy and switched it on half way through. All the people between the tree and the stage missed it – including, um, me! It was Lilu’s first time to say ‘god jul’. And Lil’ Red slept through the whole thing! Enjoy!!