Easter in Norway is not only a religious holiday. It is also associated with one of the most important holidays of the year, bringing together the whole family and marking the beginning of spring. Easter holidays have many traditions in common: from egg painting to… reading criminal stories.
Easter is also a time to eat – it is hard to imagine without a festive dinner with family and friends. On the table you can find Easter beer (it is worth mentioning that there is also Christmas or summer beer). Houses are decorated with Easter eggs and blooming narcissuses. Many hard-boiled chicken eggs are eaten – during Easter each Norwegian eats about 7 eggs on average.
Easter in the mountains and shopping centres
As usual during this type of holidays, during Easter many people go to church, but here in Norway it does not differ much from other European countries. However, the traditional Easter celebration is different here – Norwegians often go to the mountains and welcome spring by skiing, enjoying the sun, eating oranges and Kvikk Lunsj chocolate bars, drinking Solo soda. By the way, Kvikk Lunsj and Solo are almost symbols of Norway – although they resemble KitKat and Fanta, which are more popular in Europe, these products have won an important place in the Norwegian tradition of celebrating holidays. Every Norwegian eats on average 4 Kvikk Lunsj bars during Easter. Unfortunately, the tradition of going to the mountains has been disappearing recently, as many Norwegians use their holidays to go to Sweden for cheaper shopping.
It is interesting to note that criminal stories are an integral part of Easter in Norway. Usually a lot of new crime stories appear before Easter. It is not entirely certain how this tradition was born, but it seems that it all started in 1923, when one of the Norwegian publishers came up with the idea of an advertising campaign for a newly published criminal story, on the front page of the journal, publishing an ad that said “Train to Bergen robbed at night”. After a year, the publisher decided to publish a detective novel again. Slowly, detective stories became an integral part of the Easter tradition.
Calendar of Easter
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Easter. This day is often celebrated with a short trip around the area or a trip to the cinema, because the premieres of Easter films are already being shown. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Palm Sunday are working days for some, although all students are already on holiday. While not all Norwegians agree that Easter celebrations start on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday is generally considered the beginning of holidays. On Good Friday no commercial advertising is broadcasted on television – social advertising instead , where donations are collected.
Holy Saturday is usually celebrated as any other day off from work and school, and most shops return to work on Saturday. On Holy Saturday, children receive chocolate Easter eggs as a gift. Sunday, the most important day of Easter, begins with a rich breakfast, during which there is no shortage of eggs. On Sunday, the Easter Bunny hides eggs that children should find later. And after Easter, another holiday soon comes – 17 May is the Day of the Norwegian Constitution.