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Julebord: The Norwegian Christmas Party

Norwegian Julebord - The Christmas Party in Norway - Working With Norwegians

The apex of Norwegian drinking culture, at least as it pertains to the workplace, is Julebord, or the Christmas party. A year’s worth of pent up work 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. 

Before you join a Norwegian work Julebord there are a few rules to live by. Let’s go through them.

  • Norwegian men should dust off the suits and ties they never wear for this evening. It’s expected you’ll look a little nice tonight.
  • Norwegian women also get a little fancy and even wear stiletto heels. This is not a sight you often see in Norway as it’s not so easy to traverse snowy streets in such footwear.
  • This is the night to share feedback with your colleagues, good or bad. The alcohol will help you muster up the courage to do so.
  • If you have romantic feelings for a colleague now is the time to let them know. Once again the alcohol should help.
  • It’s perfectly OK to sleep with your boss that night, even if he or she is married!
  • The same rules that apply to Las Vegas apply to Julebord. So what happens at the Julebord stays at the Julebord. Don’t make your coworkers uncomfortable by discussing the night’s events the next day. Or ever again really.

For foreigners, this is a night to celebrate and strengthen your relationship with your Norwegian colleagues. It’s one of the few evenings when this is easy to do. For the Norwegians out there please check in on your foreign workers to ensure they are not overwhelmed. They will not be used to seeing such an overly social experience in Norway. Hand them a shot of aquavit and help them sing along on this wonderful night.

God Jul!

More about a Norwegian Julebord

The Norwegian Julebord, a festive and cherished tradition, is a culinary celebration that marks the joyous holiday season. Rooted in centuries-old customs, this communal feast is a testament to the warmth of Norwegian hospitality and the rich cultural tapestry that defines the country’s festive spirit.

Understanding Julebord: A Culinary Extravaganza

Defining Julebord

Julebord, translating to “Christmas table” in English, is a grand feast that typically takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It is a time when colleagues, friends, and families come together to indulge in a lavish spread of traditional Norwegian dishes, fostering a sense of unity and festive camaraderie.

The Culinary Palette of Julebord

Classic Norwegian Flavors

  1. Rakfisk and Lutefisk: Julebord often features traditional dishes such as rakfisk (fermented fish) and lutefisk (dried fish rehydrated in a lye solution). These unique delicacies add a distinctive touch to the festive spread.
  2. Ribbe and Pinnekjøtt: Roasted pork rib (ribbe) and steamed lamb ribs (pinnekjøtt) are staple main courses, showcasing the diversity of Norwegian holiday cuisine.
  3. Leverpostei and Julepølse: Liver pâté (leverpostei) and Christmas sausages (julepølse) are delectable appetizers that contribute to the rich tapestry of flavors during Julebord.

The Festive Setting: Atmosphere and Decor

Decorative Splendor

Julebord venues are adorned with festive decorations, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. Traditional Christmas colors, candles, and ornaments contribute to the magical atmosphere that enhances the dining experience.

Live Music and Entertainment

Many Julebord celebrations include live music and entertainment, adding a lively and joyful element to the festivities. Dancing and merriment become integral components of the experience, making Julebord a truly immersive celebration.

The Social Significance of Julebord

Strengthening Bonds

Julebord goes beyond being a mere culinary event; it’s a time for building and strengthening personal and professional relationships. Colleagues share stories, friends toast to the year gone by, and families come together to create lasting memories.

Corporate and Family Traditions

While companies host Julebord for their employees, families also have their private celebrations. These gatherings reinforce the importance of togetherness and provide a platform for expressing gratitude and goodwill.


As you embark on the journey of a Norwegian Julebord, you are not just partaking in a festive meal; you are immersing yourself in a cultural experience that reflects the heart and soul of Norway’s holiday traditions. The flavors, the atmosphere, and the camaraderie come together to make Julebord an integral and cherished part of the Norwegian Christmas season. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, dive into the magic of Julebord and savor the essence of a Norwegian Christmas celebration.

More Norwegian Christmas Food

Embrace the enchanting Yuletide spirit with a journey through Norway’s Christmas culinary wonders. Our curated category brings you a delectable assortment of festive delights, from traditional main courses to decadent desserts that define the holiday season in Norway. Explore the rich tapestry of flavors and time-honored recipes that make Norwegian Christmas cuisine a true feast for the senses. Let the aromatic allure and cultural significance of these festive dishes transport you to the heart of Scandinavian holiday traditions. Indulge in the joy of Christmas with our handpicked selection of Norwegian Christmas food, where every bite tells a story steeped in tradition and love.