In Norway we Trick-or-Treat on New Year’s Eve

If you are ever in Norway on Halloween, and you (or your kids) try going out to trick-or-treat, you may be sorely disappointed.

You may even be met with a note saying “If you want candy, come back on New Year’s Eve!”

This is due to the old Norwegian tradition called “Nyttårsbukk“. The name means “New Year’s Ram”, but that name is not very descriptive of what actually occurs.

The name is likely linked to The Yule Goat, but the tradition itself is a mix of trick-or-treating and caroling.

In Norway we Trick-or-Treat on New Year's Eve

On New Year’s Eve, Norwegian children dress up in costumes, goes door to door singing Christmas-songs, and gets candy in return.

There are many people in Norway who don’t like Halloween, as they feel that it is both American culture intruding on Norwegian culture, and that children just use the holiday as an excuse to get more candy (even if they don’t care about the holiday itself).

I always buy candy for both holidays just in case, as I don’t want to disappoint the kids.

And if nobody comes, more candy for me!

Are there any unusual traditions where you come from?

If you liked this article, check out more posts about Norway!

5 thoughts on “In Norway we Trick-or-Treat on New Year’s Eve

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  1. I am familiar with this tradition, but never experienced it. It does indeed go back to the pagan era and Thor’s goats. Halloween derives from the pagan Celtic tradition in Ireland called Samhain. It is the Celtic new year and the beginning of the dark half of the year. The time when the veil between worlds is thinnest. When spirits roam and the people light candles and jackolanterns made from gourds to guide the spirits of the dead. I’m from America, but I practice a blend of Celtic and Heathen holidays, so my traditions are probably strange no matter where I go.

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