St. Cloud’s Sons of Norway Bring Back Julefest
ST. CLOUD -- Carols, treats, and traditional Norwegian dishes were all brought out to the Whitney Senior Center Monday night for the Julefest celebration.
The traditional Christmas Party brought together a few dozen people to enjoy Norwegian heritage and food. The event was put on by the Trollheim Lodge, Sons of Norway.
Frank Haynes is the President of the Lodge. He says one of the things you can learn about during the Julefest is the Julenisse, the Norwegian Christmas Elves, who like to sow a little mischief if you leave them with an empty stomach.
"They live in the barn, and you need to take care of the Christmas Elves, by leaving them porridge on Christmas Eve. Because if you don't, they'll leave the barn door open and let all your animals out, and raise heck."
Another part of the Julefest was the singing of traditional Norwegian Christmas Carols around the tree. Haynes says, even if you don't know Norwegian, you should be able to pick up a few things if you'd like to join in.
"You don't have to know Norwegian, you can kind of learn it [the carols] by osmosis, but it's just kind of the fun part of a traditional Norwegian Christmas."
The food on the menu included Pickled Herring, Rommegrot (a sour-cream pudding), almond cakes, and lefse among plenty others.
The Sons of Norway started as a way for Norwegians to get car insurance, and is now an organization for anyone with an interest in Norwegian culture or their Norwegian roots.
The group was founded in 1972 under their first President, Vernon Mork. Haynes says they're always looking for new members to keep the legacy going.