To travel on Christmas, many choose the freezing North. Looking for snow and not necessarily for skiing, we can land in Norway. Bergen, the second largest city, is the gateway to the Norwegian fjords. Until December 31, the center of Bergen becomes the delightful village with the world's largest gingerbread. The tradition of preparing Christmas sweets among the inhabitants of Bergen is entrenched. It is a feast for all the senses!
The people of the city make a contribution to build their home in the city center, Torgallmenningen, the sweetest miniature Bergen. Norwegian residents of this city create miniature houses, trains, cars and boats, all made of authentic gingerbread, with candy canes and sugar glass, which is used to link all elements.
The Pepparkakor, in Swedish, also known as Peparkake and Pepperkake in Norwegian and Piparkakku in Finnish are spiced cookies, typical of Scandinavia but also famous in the other German-speaking populations. They are traditionally a Christmas specialty.
And since we have come to Bergen we cannot return without having searched the Auroras, one of the most fascinating spectacles that take place in the sky. At Christmas, the town of Tromso can be one of the best places to see the northern lights in Norway. But there are more options.
There are many Norwegian towns above the Arctic Circle that allow us to enjoy the auroras. Without going so far north, it is also possible to see in Trondelag region in the center of the country. Some cruise ships are known for offering themed trips auroras also during the Christmas holidays.
Christmas and Prague traditions remained in force as hundreds of years ago. Decorative elements, carols and family reunion, but especially the cuisine. What one can not miss in a Czech Christmas are the allusive chants, trees decorated with lights and shiny objects and fried carp, but especially the gingerbread cookies that are specially prepared for these dates with all artistic dedication.
In Pardubice there is one of the last traditional factories of this bread, but many families prefer to do in their homes and give them the forms they prefer. The gingerbread is baked with honey and spices. It arrived in the country from Germany in 1335 but it took at least two centuries to spread like a tradition for the Christmas season. In the beginning it was made of carved wooden molds which were a true work of art, as now but with the difference that other technology is used.
Toruń is next to the Vistula River. It is the city where Nicolaus Copernicus was born. In 1997 Unesco granted the title of World Heritage Site. Poland is famous for its cookies. Gingerbread cookies with many flavors. And how could it be otherwise. People have mixed the two things and there is the Copernicus cookies. Gingerbread cookies are called "pierniki". At Toruń' is also Żywe Muzeum Piernika, the interactive piernik museum, where you can participate in the preparation of the dough, forming and baking cookies.
In Panama, similar cookies is made in the province of Chiriquí. This dessert is called yiyinbre and is prepared with ginger and molasses. Also in the country there is a confection called quequi that among its ingredients can carry ginger, molasses and coconut.