"" Writer's Wanderings: Gledelig Jul!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Gledelig Jul!

Clever and full of energy was the elf at the center of the venue at Norway in Epcot. The Julenissen is derived from the Nisse or the barn elf that looks out for the livestock on Norwegian farms. Julenissen is the "barn Santa". He had some magical powers that included being invisible--at least to the lady beside him.

Across the countryside children on farms leave a bowl of porridge in the barn for Julenissen to thank him for taking care of the animals and watching over the family. Farm animals are treated to the finest oats and barley and special sheaves of grain are placed on poles for the birds.

Julenissen visits on Christmas Eve with the greeting, "Are there any good children here?" Of course he brings presents and will sometimes make the children sing a song, "Pa Laven Sitter Nissen" (In the barn sits the elf).

There is also another song, Musevisa (The Mouse Song) that tells of a mouse family getting ready for Christmas and Mother and Father Mouse warning their children to stay away from mouse traps.

And of course as everywhere, there is a Christmas feast--pork or mutton served with red cabbage and potatoes. A special cake, Julekake, and rice porridge are favorites as well.

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