December is Christmas season.  It’s the time when the now dark cities and towns of Norway become lit up with gorgeous sparkling decorations.

Butter or no butter, traditions remain firmly rooted in place.   And, one of those traditions is the Bergenese Pepperkakebyen (gingerbread city).  Every December all the kindergartens and schools of Bergen come together to build what is the world’s largest gingerbread city.  The butter crisis did not hold them back.  This edible city is easily the most popular Christmas event here, and finally we managed to secure a place in the queue to see it for ourselves.

The city comprises some 7000 buildings, including traditional gingerbread houses,  cars and gardens, schools, oil platforms, and even a gingerbread airport complete with tasty looking 747s.

As we wandered through the pepperkakebyen, the smell of gingerbread, and squeals of delights of the children who, all one-way, or another played a part in its construction, was enough to even make an economist smile.


We noted the houses within touching reach all seemed to have some bite-sized construction defects.

Still they were impressive.

I had to attempt to build my own (house that is), particularly given our renovation experience.  This should be easy.

So, here it is.  My first gingerbread house.

Michelle's pepperkakehus

I asked Brian for an evaluation.

This was his report.

Evaluation: Structurally unsound, but meets council regulations

“They’re all like that”, apparently.

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