NORWAY: In the middle of Bergen at Torgallmenningen are the room that houses the world’s largest gingerbread city! Outside the entrance stands expectant children patiently in line. After many stagnant minutes, it starts to tingle in young children’s bodies. Many children begin to run back and forth to make the time go. Suddenly, the wait is over, it is their turn to enter the magical world of gingerbread!
The first time I visited this year’s gingerbread city was a few hours before the official opening. Despite the fact that I have been here before, in this adventurous and magical gingerbread world – it is as if the air strikes out of me by sheer enthusiasm! The smell of anise, ginger and sweets in the walls. It’s like an appetizer for the senses! The sound of buzzing voices drown out the Christmas music played over loudspeakers. The atmosphere is magical and adventurous!
Expectant children and their parents, looking frantically for their own artwork. A little girl finally found the gingerbread house her kindergarden has delivered. She points persistently and clearly proud! She has every reason! The house is decorated with icing, NONSTOP, liquorice, colorful, gelemen and gelewomen. The girl is photographed in front of the gingerbread house and speaks enthusiastically at inhalation and exhalation. The image of themselves and the artwork, she will show to the entire kindergarden on Monday morning!
Many of the smaller children are leaning over the table edge and follow the train with their eyes. A child’s hand provides train derailment of great horror among the youngest viewers. One of the parents put the train back on track to great enthusiasm among the children!
There are many sweet temptations for young and old! In an unguarded moment, a small child’s hand grasps the decoration. A distraught mother pulling the childs hand back quickly. Over 100 kg powdered sugar icing and candy adorning the 1,500 gingerbread works of art! It is not surprising that the temptation is irresistible to many!
More than 10 000 small and large builders have transformed roughly 750 kg gingerbread dough into a magical and wonderful gingerbread world. The initiators of this year’s gingerbread, has worked for several months of planning, organizing, assembling of the room and shaping of the landscape. The last few weeks before the opening, the effort was intensified.
As I leave the room, I smile broadly and think in my mind, that nothing can surpass it! Gingerbread town is undoubtedly a strong and important tradition of Bergen residents. I am proud to live in Bergen and can take part in this magical tradition before Christmas year after year!
Back home in the living room, serving gingerbreadcity gingerbreads. The wonderful smell spreads in the living room. It is as if we have taken home part of the gingerbread city. Revenues from the sale of gingerbread city, goes to great humanitarian and cultural purposes for the children.
What is Christmas spirit to you?