AS snow falls heavily from the skies, every chimney in the neighborhood is spewing out smoke. With temperatures ranging from two to minus thirty degrees, the winter in Norway can both be enjoyable and harsh. One thing is for sure, the Norwegian winter is full of different traditions relating to the snow, our mountains, forests and weather.

Sundays is often a day many children have a love-hate relationship with. More often than not, parents drag their children out in the forest to go skiing. After having come out of the house however, most people find that it is not so bad after all to go on a trip outside. When what seems like skiing for miles and miles aimlessly comes to an end, you know there is a cabin in the woods where they sell fresh pastry, hot chocolate and coffee. With new energy and a clearer mind, you head home with a wish that this should last forever.

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Classic Norwegian winter morning. You wake up, eat breakfast, walk out your front door to find that your driveway is covered in thirty centimeters of snow. Still sleepy you start shoving all the snow that’s between your car and the road so you can get going to work. Now in the freezing car the sweat from your morning workout is starting to go away as the heater ramps up. Coming home, the entire house is a bit colder than comfortable. Lastly, the best way to end the day is to go outside only in your underwear, roll around in the snow for a minute before you run inside to take a hot damp shower.

During the winter months, there are a lot of skiing competitions around the world. Traditionally the television is almost always turned on to watch skiing from morning till the evening. Downhill, cross country and ski jumping are equally represented when we trust our Norwegian sports idols to bring home the golden medals of each branch.

Winter is both harsh and fun. Appreciation of nature, sports and family are largely what the Norwegian winter tradition is all about. Skiing, snow and hot drinks make the winter go around. Happy winter!

adrian