What do Norwegians put on top of Christmas tree?

What do Norwegians put on top of Christmas tree?

Norwegian Christmas celebrations are steeped in tradition, and one intriguing aspect that captivates both locals and curious minds worldwide is the adornment atop their Christmas trees. In this article, we delve into the captivating world of Norwegian holiday customs, specifically focusing on the enchanting element that graces the summit of their festive evergreens.

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A Tradition Rooted in Heritage

Historical Significance

Norway boasts a rich cultural heritage, and its Christmas traditions reflect a deep connection to the past. The practice of crowning the Christmas tree has historical roots dating back to the 18th century. Back then, Norwegian families adorned their trees with symbolic elements, each carrying profound meaning.

The Star of the Show: A Traditional Touch

Radiant Symbolism

At the pinnacle of Norwegian Christmas trees, you’ll often find a radiant star. This celestial symbol holds immense significance, representing the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus. The star is typically crafted with meticulous attention to detail, embracing both tradition and artistry.

Craftsmanship and Materials

Norwegian artisans take pride in creating unique and intricate stars. Common materials include wood, metal, and even straw. The craftsmanship involved in these creations not only adds a personal touch to each tree but also ensures a diverse array of stars that cater to individual tastes.

Angels: Guardian Figures Atop the Tannenbaum

Ethereal Elegance

Another prevalent choice for adorning the summit of Norwegian Christmas trees is the angel. Crafted with ethereal elegance, these celestial beings symbolize heavenly blessings and guardian spirits watching over the festive season. Angels may vary in design, from traditional to modern interpretations, allowing for a range of expressions in this cherished tradition.

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Family Heirlooms

Many Norwegian families pass down angel tree toppers through generations, turning them into cherished family heirlooms. This practice not only imparts sentimental value but also reinforces the continuity of traditions across the years.

The Quaint Charm of Nordic Gnomes

Mythical Intricacies

Adding a whimsical touch to Christmas tree crowning, some Norwegians opt for Nisse or Nordic gnomes. These mythical creatures, believed to bring good fortune, lend a touch of folklore to the festive season. With their pointy hats and mischievous expressions, Nisse figures infuse a playful spirit into the holiday ambiance.

Handcrafted Delight

The popularity of Nisse as tree toppers has spurred a trend in handcrafted designs. Local artisans and craft enthusiasts showcase their creativity by fashioning unique Nisse figures, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of Norwegian holiday traditions.

Contemporary Twists: Modern Tree Toppers

Expressing Individuality

In recent years, Norwegians have embraced modernity while retaining their cherished customs. As a result, contemporary tree toppers have emerged, ranging from sleek, minimalist designs to quirky, avant-garde creations. This adaptability reflects a dynamic blend of tradition and personal expression in the evolving landscape of Norwegian festivities.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Are there specific guidelines for choosing a Christmas tree topper?

Choosing a Christmas tree topper largely depends on personal preferences and the desired theme. Traditional options include stars, angels, and Nordic gnomes, while modern choices offer a broader range of creative expression.

2. Can I create my own tree topper?

Absolutely! Many Norwegians take pride in crafting their own tree toppers, adding a personal touch to their holiday decorations. DIY tree toppers can be made from various materials, allowing for endless creativity.

3. Do contemporary tree toppers diminish the significance of traditional ones?

Not at all. Modern tree toppers in Norway are seen as a way to express individuality while still honoring the rich cultural traditions. The diversity in tree topper choices reflects the evolving nature of holiday celebrations.


In unraveling the mystery of what Norwegians put on top of their Christmas tree, we discover a tapestry woven with history, symbolism, and artistic expression. Whether adorned with a traditional star, an angelic guardian, whimsical Nordic gnomes, or a modern masterpiece, each tree tells a unique story of cultural richness and festive joy.

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