Christmas In NORWAY

Like the other Scandinavian countries, Norway has its gift-bearing little gnome or elf. Known as Julebukk or "Christmas buck," he appears as a goat-like creature. Julebukk harkens back to Viking times when pagans worshipped Thor and his goat. During pagan celebrations a person dressed in a goatskin, carrying a goat head, would burst in upon the party and during the course of evening would "die" and return to life.

During the early Christian era, the goat began to take the form of the devil, and would appear during times of wild merry-making and jubilation. By the end of the Middle Ages, the game was forbidden by the Church and the state. In more recent times the goat has emerged in the tamer form of Julebukk.

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