Messager Lachine-Dorval/Domenic Fazioli Unni Myara shows a traditional open-faced sandwich, one of the items for sale at the Norwegian Annual Christmas Sale.

Christmas is about six weeks away, but dozens of people got an early start on the festivities this weekend in Lachine.  The Norwegian Association of Montreal held its Annual Christmas Sale to benefit charities.  The event has been held since the 1960’s.

It took place at the Norwegian Church and Community Centre on Sherbrooke Street.  The main hall of the building was converted into a marketplace where everything was imported from Norway.  There was something for everyone – from open-faced Scandanavian sandwiches to underwear with Norwegian flag prints.

« We had a new type of chocolate and wonderful cheeses that people here don’t even know about. You won’t find any of these items in Montreal, » says association member Marie Blydt-Hansen.

The two-day event was held to promote Norwegian culture and traditions. Most of the people who attended were of Norwegian descent.  Some others like Brian Morris were just interested in the Scandinavian culture.

« I just came here to check it out. Seems like a lot of fun, » Morris says.

Foodies definitely got their fill.  The longest lineup was next to a table selling a cake called « blotkake ».  The multi-layer sponge cake is filled with raspberries, apricots and whipped cream.  The delightful dessert is topped with a coating of marzipan.  Many call it « Norwegian heaven ».

« We made 180 of these cakes, and they all sold out. They were extremely popular, that’s for sure, » says Blydt-Hansen.

A portion of the proceeds from the Christmas sale will be used to pay for church repairs and general maintenance.

An estimated 300 people of Norwegian descent live in the Greater Montreal area.  A majority of them call Lachine and the West Island home.

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