Last-minute shoppers wandered along Oslo’s main boulevard, Karl Johans gate, on the dark and stormy night leading into the Christmas holiday weekend. It’s the latest with no snow or ice in the Norwegian capital, but plenty of rain fell during the night before Christmas Eve, known as julaften.
Oslo-area residents were in for a treat, though, when the sun suddenly reappeared after finally rising just after 9:30am Saturday morning. When it sets around 3pm on Christmas Eve, most all stores will be closed, church bells would be ready to ring and the streets go quiet.
Many Norwegians head for local churchyards and cemeteries at sundown, to place lanterns on the graves of family members that will burn through the night and Christmas Day. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) runs an annual program at 5pm featuring the boys’ choir Sølvguttene singing Christmas hymns, and then holiday meals and celebrations begin indoors. Gatherings of family and friends extend well into next week.
On that note, we’d like to wish our readers from Oslo to Ottawa, Oakland and Osaka, a happy holiday season.