The Huldre-Folk Tell the Date

According to Reidar Christiansen, about 60 Norwegian variants of this tale have been collected.

After the Black Death, Setesdal lay practically deserted, but gradually people started moving in from the outside and settling up and down the valley. But one old married couple, Tore and Knut, who lived up in Findalen, did not have the heart to leave their homestead. They stayed there quite alone for many years. The only thing they missed was not being able to tell what day of the year it was. Especially in the dark of winter did they grieve over not knowing when it w Christmas, so they could celebrate it at the same time as everyone else.

They had heard that people had started moving back to the valley, and one year, when they days were at their shortest, they decided that the wife, Tore, was to go over to Setesdal and find out when it was Christmas. Tore set out and on the way she sat down to rest under the wall of a mountain. They she clearly heard the sound of singing from inside the mountain:

"Hurry, hurry Tore,
Bake your Christmas bread!
Nights but one, and days but two,
That's when Christmas Eve is due!"

Tore was overjoyed when she found this out and hurried back home to bake the bread and make everything ready so they could celebrate Christmas at the same time as everyone else.