Risgrynsgröt – Rice Pudding
In Scandinavia, rice pudding has long been a part of Christmas tradition, in some countries referred to as julegröt/julegrøt/julegrød/joulupuuro (Yule porridge) or tomtegröt/nissegrød. The latter name is due to the old tradition of sharing the meal with the guardian of the homestead, called tomte or nisse (see also blót). In Finland it is common to eat the Christmas rice porridge with a sauce made of dried prunes.
A particular Christmas tradition that is often associated with eating rice pudding or porridge is hiding a whole almond in the porridge. In Sweden and Finland, popular belief has it that the one who eats the almond will be in luck the following year. In Norway, Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the one who finds it will get the almond present as a prize. In Denmark and the Faroe Islands, the almond tradition is usually done with risalamande served as dessert at Julefrokost (Christmas lunch) or on Christmas Eve. In Norway, it is commonly served as lunch or early dinner on Christmas Eve or the day before, lillejulaften (“Little Eve”). In Sweden and Finland, it is more commonly done with a rice porridge dinner, sometimes a few days before Christmas Eve.