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CHRISTMAS

Here’s how you can choose Oslo City Hall’s Christmas chimes

Oslo residents are every year given the chance to help decide which festive tunes will chime from City Hall.

Here’s how you can choose Oslo City Hall's Christmas chimes
Photo: JJFarquitectos/Depositphotos

Oslo City Hall’s bell tower, which is located in its eastern tower, is well-known to most people in the Norwegian capital.

The bell tower consists of a total of 49 bells which each year play seasonal music chosen by the city itself.

“We have organized this competition for several years now, and we receive many great suggestions every year. We hope for a good response this year as well,” Marit Jensen, a City Hall administrator, told Vårt Oslo.

“It is incredibly nice to be able to welcome the winner and take them up to enjoy this great view and the instrument. It is a unique experience for the winner to hear ‘their’ melody played by the chimes,” Jensen added.

Nominations can be sent to Oslo City Hall by email until November 25th.

The winner will receive an invitation for two people to see the bell tower to see the view, the chimes and to hear their tune played live, Vårt Oslo writes.

READ ALSO: Norway's ten weirdest Christmas traditions

CHRISTMAS

Could Christmas in Norway be affected by new Covid-19 measures?

Norway’s government has in the last two days announced tightened rules relating to Covid-19 isolation and face masks. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre sought to reassure the public over plans for the Christmas holidays.

Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th.
Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th. Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

The government on Tuesday announced new measures relating to quarantine rules for confirmed Covid-19 cases and face mask guidelines.

The measures, which are being introduced in response to increasing infection numbers, include more stringent isolation rules, face mask recommendations and a push to vaccinate over 65s with booster jabs as soon as possible.

“On one side, we must avoid full hospitals and strain on the health system. On the other side we must live as normally as possible. We must keep finding the right balance in the measures,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

Tighter quarantine rules for suspected cases with the new Omicron variant were meanwhile launched on Monday. People who test positive for or are believed to be infected with the Omicron variant will need to isolate for longer than others with the virus.

READ ALSO:

In comments during a briefing to press on Tuesday, Støre sought to reassure the public over plans to spend Christmas with loved ones.

“The measures we have introduced are settings that make it possible to celebrate a good Christmas while keeping in mind what you can do with your loved ones,” the PM said in comments reported by newspaper VG.

“We can plan to be with our families at Christmas,” he added.

Last year saw Christmas in Norway significantly impacted by restrictions on the number of people who could meet and mixing between households.

Such far-reaching restrictions are not expected in 2021. Støre did not however rule out additional measures being introduced before December 24th.

“What we have presented today is based on the knowledge we already have,” he said.

“It is the total restrictions that count. If we are in the same situation (as now) when we get to December 24th, you can celebrate Christmas normally,” Støre said, but noted the virus would be present throughout the winter.

The aim of any measures is to keep the pandemic under control throughout the winter, he added.

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