Guide to the main national holidays of Norway

Holidays in Norway are a good time to travel. Usually a strict and calm “peak of Europe” completely changes its appearance for Easter in April. Family in December, solemn in May and traditional in February – choose the most interesting period for you and discover this northern state from a new perspective. In this article we will talk about the national holidays of Norway, are there the same traditions in our countries and why is May 17 so appreciated here. Are you ready to feel the festive mood?

Constitution day

Unique holidays and traditions of Norway

Sami Day
Sami flag

The first red day on the Norwegian calendar is Sami Day, which is celebrated annually on February 6th. This international holiday is dedicated to the Scandinavian people, the largest population of which is represented precisely in Norway – more than 40 thousand people out of a total of 64,000 Sami around the world live here.

Lopari (the second name of the Sami) is the Finnish-Ugric indigenous people of Northern Europe. Since 1917, in Norway, Sweden and Finland, every sixth of February, the blue-red flag of born hunters and fishermen has been raised above the city halls, the anthem of the brave reindeer herders “Sámi soga lávllaat” has been heard on all radio stations, and thematic lessons are held in kindergartens and schools.

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Reindeer herders race in Tromso

Celebrating Sami People’s Day is best done in Karashok, the northern city of Norway and the capital of the Lapps, or Tromsø, where international reindeer sleigh races are held. At this time, themed fairs are held in many cities where you can buy venison and taste the national Sami cuisine.

Interesting! Despite the fact that among more than 5 million people in Norway, Lapar is less than one percent, on this holiday many families organize feasts and participate in national Sami entertainment.

Women night

May 8 is not only Victory Day over the Nazi invaders, but also the night of women – a holiday that is celebrated throughout Norway. Already from the name you can understand that the “fun” in honor of the beautiful half of humanity is set aside for the dark. Why is it night and what is the meaning of this holiday?

Preparing Great Women Posters

The thing is that in Norway, despite the high standard of living, women still often face the problem of infringement of rights and gender inequality. In the fight against low wages, an abundance of strip clubs and the rapid spread of prostitution, girls resort to quite humane means – paper, glue and scissors. Since 2006, on May 8, posters of great women have appeared on the walls of Norwegian houses, many of which are just someone’s mothers and grandmothers, and not just poetesses, prime ministers, scientists or politicians.

If you want to participate or see how the important role of women in Norwegian society is confirmed, come here in May to the cities of Bergen and Oslo. It is possible that in the coming years the holiday will spread throughout the country.

Constitution day

Arriving in this country of Northern Europe, you should know the answer to the most important question – what holiday is celebrated in Norway on May 17. Constitution Day is the most important celebration celebrated by locals for over 200 years.

Norwegian Constitution Day in Oslo

On May 17, 1814, Norway ceased to exist as a province and became a free and independent state. In honor of this event, citizens of all ages take to the streets in national costumes, paint their faces in the colors of the flag, hold holiday processions, sing traditional songs and pass in a ceremonial column through the main streets of the cities.

Advice! It is best for foreigners to celebrate May 17 in Oslo, because it is here that you can see all members of the royal family.

St. Hans Day
St. Hans Day

An important summer holiday, which is celebrated in Norway on June 23-24, is St. Hans Day or Slavic Ivan Kupala. Scandinavian traditions are not very different from ours – on this day, or rather night, people of different ages gather around bonfires, sing folk songs, jump over fire, launch wicker wreaths and perform rituals. Norwegians usually do not go to sleep on the night of June 23-24, as waking during this period means a charge of energy and well-being for the whole next year.

Fjord Day
Excursions to the fjords

Fjord Day is another solemn holiday, which is on a par with May 17, and is celebrated in all Scandinavian countries. Since 1991, every July 12-14, in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, environmental conferences, painting exhibitions, free guided tours of the fjords, concerts and film screenings have been held.

The fjord is a sea bay with rocky shores, and it is in Norway that the most beautiful and deepest of them are located. The main celebrations are held in Sogn og Furan, Rogaland, Bergen.

St. Martin’s Day
St. Martin's Day

The last major holiday before Christmas – November 11, is celebrated in the family circle at a large table. This is the last celebration before a long post, so at this time travelers are especially lucky for delicious dishes of national cuisine. When night falls on Norway, in all regions children with lit lanterns walk along the streets with folk songs. In some cities, for example, Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, small concerts are held for a nominal fee.

Interesting fact! According to the weather on St. Martin’s Day in Norway, they make predictions for the next month – if it rains on a holiday on the street, it will not stop until the New Year.

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Other significant holidays in the country

Despite the fairly large distance between the former Soviet Union and Norway, we have a lot in common, including the main holidays. On the same days as us, the inhabitants of Scandinavia note:

New Year
  • New Year – January 1;
  • Shrovetide – 7 weeks before Easter;
  • Easter is celebrated in April for 2 days – on Sunday and Monday;
  • Labor Day – May 1;
  • Holy Trinity Day – 50 days after Easter.

We observe similar traditions at Christmas, but since Protestants mainly live in Norway, they celebrate it on December 25th.

Celebrating holidays in Norway is a good way to experience the atmosphere and traditions of the country. But keep in mind that on a national weekend, most stores and food outlets do not work.

Video: 12 interesting facts about Norway.

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