Christmas vocabulary with music!

In this lesson we are going to learn some Christmas vocabulary and find out more about some Norwegian Christmas traditions.

The song we are going to listen to is called “Hey ho” by Freddy Kalas. Here is the song and the task:

Do you know all the missing words?

(en) peis – (a) fireplace, the fireplace

(en) lillebror – younger brother. The opposite would be storebror – elder brother.

(en) gave –  a present

(en) fakkel (fakler) – a torch (torches)

(en) julesang – a Christmas carol/song

(ei) bestemor – grandmother


Let’s also take a look at the underlined words in the song.

gavekortgift card
ribbeit is the most popular Christmas dinner dish. "Ribbe" is pork ribs and this dish is very fatty as in the old days the dish had to give one a lot of energy
akevittit is the same as akvavit. It is a spirit (40%) made of distilled grain and potatoes and it is flavoured with some herbs
nisseit is a creature mentioned in Scandinavian folklore. He is portrayed as an older man, with long white beard, wearing farmer's clothing. Nisse is normally associated with the Christmas season and Norwegians love buying nisse figures and toys to decorate their houses. Nisse, or Julenisse is the one who delivers presents to Norwegian children, so it is a Norwegian version of Santa Claus
gløgggløgg is a traditional Norwegian Christmas drink. Alcoholic gløgg includes wine with spices, or even stronger spirits such as akevitt. However, the gløgg you buy at Christmas markets or stores is alcohol-free. "Tomtegløgg" is what you buy at supermarkets to mix with water or wine
julegran a Christmas tree, often a larger one that stands outdoors
pinnekjøttthese are ribs from lamb that have been salted and dried. It is one of the most popular Christmas dishes. Before cooking, the meat needs to be soaked in water to remove most of the salt, which can take 30 hours
kål(savoy) cabbage. In the song it probably refers to surkål - sweet and sour sauerkraut
å holde taleto give a speech

Christmas in Norway is a family holiday. All the fuss of holiday preparations disappears as the afternoon of December 24 approaches. The streets are empty during the Christmas eve and Christmas day and people enjoy spending their time at home with family. The period between Christmas weekend and the New Year’s eve is called Romjul. Many people have days off during this time as well and tend to stay at home with family or go on hikes to enjoy the Norwegian winter.

Are there any Norwegian Christmas traditions that you find interesting? Share them with us!

You can also check our lesson on Christmas vocabulary or learn more Norwegian with music.

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