Sunday, January 2, 2011

Godt Nytt År!

We were invited to spend New Year's Eve with our Norwegian friends, Roger and Merete, and their two boys who are in Greta's barnehage. Erik's parents are visiting us for a week or so over New Years, so they joined us as well. Apparently their 5-year-old, while very excited that Greta was coming to visit, was not so excited that she was bringing her English speaking grandparents, and disappointedly asked his mother before we arrived, "Do we have to speak English tonight?" Not that he was doing much speaking, but having his mother speak it limits his own understanding of our conversation. I know how you feel, kid!

Since I didn't see a TV in their living room, and I have no idea if there is a Norwegian equivalent of Dick Clark or the Times Square ball, I asked, "How will we know it's officially the New Year?" They responded that there would be fireworks set off around the neighborhood.

This was an understatement. About 10-15 minutes before the New Year, individual homes began setting off their fireworks. Roger and Merete live on in a hillside that looks over much of southern Lillehammer and Lake Mjøsa: the view is quite spectacular. We all gathered out on their deck, in jackets and blankets, and a little champagne and watched probably no fewer than 50 homes set off thousands of kroner-worth of fireworks. It was amazing!
Photo by Stian Furuseth, from

Incidentally, their 5 year-old, who was so excited to watch the raketter (rockets) at midnight, fell asleep around 11:15pm. He was an absolute noodle at midnight, and impossible to rouse for the fireworks display. Greta, on the other hand, was too wound up from playing with her friends and sleeping in a strange new environment was out of the question. She rang in the New Year in her jammies, wrapped up in several blankets in our arms, out on the porch with the rest of us.

I hope you all had a festive New Years, and have caught up on sleep in the meantime. I am looking forward to the new adventures this new year will bring: first of all, my language classes starting on January 3rd!


  1. Happy new year to you too! I wish you and your family a wonderful 2011 in Norway and may you and I become more settled and start to understand more of this tricky Norwegian language! Good luck tomorrow!!

  2. Happy New Year to you all! Glad you had fun! What a sight that must have been to see that many homes lighting off fireworks!
    We had spent the day in Savannah and driving 2.5 hrs there and back so were in bed by 10:30 and wiped out, watching Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve, which I haven't seen in years. Many years, in fact - I didn't know he had a stroke in 2004 and has passed the torch on for the most part.