Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What is Julebukking?

Julebukking is a Norwegian tradition that has been practiced for more than 10 centuries.  The tradition was practiced during the darkest time of the year.  It was a time when the beer, made earlier in the year, had to be ready to drink to toast a prosperous new year.  In the early days, a billy goat was sacrificed to Thor.  After missionaries brought Christianity to the North, sacrificing the goat, or buk, was frowned upon, but the buk continued to be an important symbol in Norwegian Christmas traditions.  Between Christmas and New Years, people would dress up in costumes and go from house to house, preforming skits and songs and being rewarded with holiday treats and drinks.  One of the people in the group would generally be dressed like a goat or buk.  The term for Christmas in Scandinavia is Jul, hence, Julebukking.

Norwegian immigrants brought this tradition to America where, according to the things I've read, the the practice began dying out. Well,  I'll tell you, it isn't dying out in Petersburg.  The practice of Julbukking in our little town might look a little different than it did 10-12 centuries ago but it is alive and well AND it certainly has grown.  My understanding is that in Petersburg, when my grandparents and parents were young, it was common for people to go from house to house and visit and eat yummy holiday treats and toast to a prosperous new year, well, at least toast.  I haven't heard about anyone dressing like a goat though.

When I was young, Christmas Eve was a time for people to gather down town and visit and do last minute shopping.   All of the stores had goodies for their customers.  Some even had spirits-to toast to a prosperous year.  I especially remember hot pastrami sandwiches at the drug store, spicy food at Marie's beauty salon, and cookies and finger foods at Hammers and Trading Union.  We called this Julebukking.  Now, 35+ years later, the Julebukking tradition has become stronger, longer and more wonderful.  Everyone gets into it, and it lasts for 4 days.  This year Piston & Rudder, Tides Inn, The Sons of Norway, Kim's, Miele Gallery and Petersburg Pilot started the holiday feasting off on Saturday the 21st.  I am very sorry I missed the Saturday kick-off and I thank all of business and organizations that welcomed people in.  If anyone has pictures of julebukking at any of these places on Saturday, I would love to include them in this blog.  Friends who no longer live here enjoy seeing familiar faces and places.

On Sunday the 22nd, Spiral North,  Life Cyclery and Wild Celery had little treats for their patrons.

Wild Celery is the place to get moose milk during the holiday season.   It's a must stop every year.  I was lucky to be shopping when the entire family was there and able to get family photo....Taylor, Ladd, Brenda, Ariel, Cade and Laurel.  What a beautiful family!  Thank you Brenda and Crew for the tasty drink and the wonderful service all year long!

Audrey with mom, Helen and Cade with Auntie Ariel met for the first time on December 22, 2013.  I wonder if they will remember it?

On Monday we were treated to goodies by the folks at Alaska Airlines, Papa Bear's Pizza, WAVE, The Fabric Basket and Lees.

My sister (in law) Darcey Hedland had her usual radiant smile for everyone who came to sample the goodies.   Lila and Grant seem to be listening to a good story.

Notice how carefully Eunice is putting Dave's krumkaka on the table.  He's watching with a critical eye...not really.  Great krumkaka Dave.  The table was beautiful Eunice.

Patty, Bev, Wendy and Roger......Roger?  I haven't seen Roger for years.  It looks like everyone's happy to see him and he is happy to see his big sister.

I see you Mel... is that 4 or 5 times back to the table:-)  This is one of the busiest times of the year for the people who work at Alaska Airlines and they still take the time to put together a feast for the community.  Thank you!

I drove to town from Alaska Airlines.  There was NO parking.  I had to park all the way up by the Elks.  Funny.... when I came down the hill, I ran into Cena and her adorable daughters Luci and  baby Ivy snoozing in the backpack.   They were all just coming from Papa Bear's with lunch. Look at all the people behind Cena.  They were waiting in line to get some of Papa Bear's delicious pizza.  The food was certainly worth the wait.  

 Craig and his daughters Taylor and Courtney and granddaughter Tayten wait in line for pizza. Believe it or not, standing in line is fun because people get to visit and catch up.

Papa Bear was serving pizza.  All of his little elf bears were keeping him supplied with the good stuff.  I think it's awfully nice for Scott to serve lunch to Petersburg.  Thank you Scott and all of your gang!

 The organization, Working for Violence Agains Everyone (WAVE) has a new director,  Annette Wooten.  Marlene, who is on the WAVE board of directors and Annette shared sweet treats and a nice visit with folks who stopped by the check out WAVE's new location.

Matt picked out a goodie to munch on while he visited with the folks in the WAVE office.  Thank you WAVE for everything you do for our community.  We should be bringing you the treats!

The Fabric Basket had Julbukking all day.  People could stop in to visit with Savann and munch on her home made treats from the time the store opened until it closed at 5:00.  

Savann's treats are always so good and beautifully displayed.  Thank you Savann for sharing your wonderful treats with us during this busy, busy time!


The last stop on my Julebukking trail, was Lee's Clothing.

I was warmly greeted by the Emma, Olivia and Pia.

Chris, Cindy, Bill and Bev enjoyed the treats and the conversation.

Rodney and Tom, Soren, Anna and Colleen had a chance to catch up on some stories.

Ross took a picture of me so I got him back;)

Mary, Mark, George, Joann and George had a chance to catch up.

 Finally, I made my way to the table, whew..... Judy and Heidi were serving coffee.  Coffee is one favorite Scandinavian drink.

 Heidi's daughter Mia served punch.  Doug filled his plate.

 Roxie, the founder of Lee's Clothing, with daughter, Heidi, kept the table stocked with delicious Petersburg treats.  Smoked salmon, pickled herring, krumkaka, spritz, shrimp and smoked salmon dip, soda crackers...yum!!

Cynthia, the manager of Lee's clothing and Jill took care of customers.  They did a lot of gift wrapping during the last few days before Christmas.

 Hayley surveyed the crowd and checked on the food table.

Holly helped my niece Mary find just the right gift for someone special.

The frosty tree in the window display was lovely.

Thank you ladies at Lee's Clothing for all of the tasty treats.  You shop is such a happy place to be during the holiday and every day!

These were some pictures of days two and three of Julebukking in Petersburg.  There is more to come.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the lovely photos! So much fun to see.