The apex of Norwegian drinking culture and holiday celebration is the julebord, or Christmas party. A year’s worth of pent-up frustrations is released on this glorious night. It’s a bit of a fancy night, at least fancier than a typical Norwegian event, often taking place in a luxury hotel or other fine establishment. This is one night of the year when it’s OK to indulge a little (more like a lot). You’ve almost made it through the brutal winter, so perhaps you’ve earned it after all.
And indulge the typical Norwegian does at julebord. The night is full of lots of great food, comfort food, songs, and dancing. However, much of the indulgence takes the form of consuming a large amount of alcohol. A table setting might include beer and wine, and of course, aquavit. As you can imagine, these events can go on well into the night.
Much has been said and debated about julebord, but most Norwegians seem to take the Las Vegas approach: what happens at julebord stays at julebord. In Norway, there are so many social codes that must not be broken, but on this wonderful night of the year, many of those rules fly out the window. You can be a little more wild than usual. You can say a few inappropriate things. You can sleep with a colleague, even if he or she is married! All that really matters is that you don’t talk about it the next day. Or ever again.
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