Norway’s Hiding The Brooms Christmas Eve (Julaften) Tradition

Christmas Eve or (Julaften)  in Norway sports a peculiar tradition based on superstition called ‘hiding the brooms,’ where folks actually hide their brooms. to prevent mythical witches, sprites and revenants from nicking them.

This custom may be based on the Wild Hunt in German and Scandinavian folklore.

The Wild Hunt or ‘Hunt of Wodan (Odensjakt, ) The Norse deity Wodan/Odin is accompanied in the night sky by winter goddesses Holda and Perchta who lead the procession of Valkyries, witches, specters, sprites and revenants while soaring on horses, some on brooms during the 12 nights of Christmas. The Wild Hunt allegedly, returns to the Other-world once the portal reopens.

Asgårdsreien [The Wild Hunt of Odin] (1872) by Peter Nicolai Arbo


Stay out of their way or you too may be whisked away!

If you live in Norway, best to hide those brooms till the New Year. 😉

kitten behind broom photo in public domain

Source & Reference::

*Hutton, Ronald (2014). “The Wild Hunt and the Witches’ Sabbath” (PDF). Folklore. 125 (2): 161–178. doi:10.1080/0015587x.2014.896968hdl:1983/f84bddca-c4a6-4091-b9a4-28a1f1bd5361.

*Kershaw, Priscilla K. (1997). The One-eyed God : Odin and the (Indo-)Germanic Männerbünde. Monograph Series. 36. Journal of Indo-European Studies. ISBN 978-0941694742.

*Norwegian Christmas Traditions online

*Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World online

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