11 December 2023
Christmas in the old days at Bø Museum days is a teaching program for 1st and 2nd graders that is conducted every year at this time. First, we talk about how Christmas used to be, with preparations and “åsgårdsreia” lurking in the dark.
The tradition of a Christmas tree in the living room is not that old, just a little over a hundred years. They didn`t have spruce here in the north, so we had to build our own Christmas trees. Therefore the museum’s Christmas tree is a juniper Christmas tree. It consists of a log with holes into which junipers are inserted.
The fact that we also had candles on the Christmas trees and no stringlights is almost impossible to imagine for those of us who have not experienced life without electricity. Yoke to carry water with and washboards are also strange items to many.
This is some of what we talk about, and take a look at, before we walk around the Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols. Christmas tree parties were one of the most exciting things you could do at Christmas, and then walking and singing around the tree was an important ingredient.
Finally, it’s time for food, namely Christmas porridge. In our porridge there is, of course, an almond and the lucky one who finds it gets a marzipan pig. If we’re really lucky, Santa Claus will arrive and everyone will receive a small edible gift. Through Christmas in the old days, we convey traditions that go far back, with elements of recent history and today’s Christmas. Christmas in the old days is part of “Den kulturelle skolesekken” in Bø municipality developed by Bø Museum.