Julebukking

Julebukking

Julebukking is a costumed holiday tradition of Norwegian origin. Between Christmas and New Years Day people wearing masks and costumes (Julebukkers) go door to door, where neighbors receiving them attempt to identify who is under the disguise. Julebukkers will often disguise their voices and body language to further the masquerade. Offering the Julebukkers holiday treats and something to drink is customary. Once identities are known and the food is eaten the Julebukkers continue to the next home.

Julebukking is believed to have originated in Norway where Pagans worshipped Thor and his goat. During holidays they would disguise their appearance and go house to house carrying a goat head. Christian missionaries modified the tradition and divorced its meaning from Paganism.

Though the practice may be dying out, it is still observed in areas in America with large populations of people of Scandinavian descent such as the rural areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and in Petersburg, Alaska and Ketchikan, Alaska.

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