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Holidays & Observances in Norway

Norway celebrates numerous holidays throughout the year, ranging from religious observances to festive local traditions. Norway is a Baltic country in Northeastern Europe. It is one of the richest countries in the world, and its people enjoy a high standard of living. Today, the population is mostly Christian, but before Christianity came to Norway the people adhered to ancient Norse mythology, which is no longer practiced, but has had a huge effect on Norway’s unique culture. Norwegians hold tightly to tradition, which can be seen especially in their celebrations of holidays and festivals.

Festivals are a large part of the Norwegian lifestyle, with a strong influence of food and jazz music celebrations. The Rakfisk Festival, which takes place on the first Saturday of each year in November in Fagernes, brings people together to appreciate the fine taste of fermented trout. Oslo, the capital of Norway, hosts several jazz festivals throughout the year, like Ultima or Dølajazz. These festivals attract attention from locals as well as tourists worldwide, uniting people through food and music. Traditional dance and music is often an important part of the holiday celebrations, and people wear a traditional costume known as a bunad which is reserved for special occasions.

Travelers visiting Norway in November can attend the popular Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes, or enjoy a jazz festival or two in Oslo. Aside from festivals, travelers may also experience traditional holidays by way of the locals, as Advent occasionally begins in November and celebrations are large and nationwide.


Country Observances

Holiday Date Country Holiday Observance Type Religion/Belief
Advent - First Sunday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Advent - Second Sunday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Advent - Third Sunday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Advent - Fourth Sunday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Christmas Eve Religious/Beliefs, Popular & Widely Observed Christianity
Christmas Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Boxing Day Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
New Year's Eve Popular & Widely Observed
New Year’s Day (Første nyttårsdag) Public, Popular & Widely Observed
Princess Ingrid Alexandra's Day Popular & Widely Observed, This Day Births
The Saami People’s Day (Samefolkets dag) Popular & Widely Observed
Mother's Day (Morsdag) Popular & Widely Observed
Valentine’s Day (Valentinsdagen) Popular & Widely Observed
Carnival Religious/Beliefs Christianity
King Harold V’s Day Popular & Widely Observed, This Day Births
International Women's Day Popular & Widely Observed
Palm Sunday Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Maundy Thursday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Good Friday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Holy Saturday Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Easter Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Easter Monday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Labour Day / May Day Public, Popular & Widely Observed
Labor Day Public
Liberation Day Popular & Widely Observed
May Constitution Day Public
Ascension Day Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Pentecost Eve Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Whit Sunday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Whit Monday Public, Religious/Beliefs Christianity
Dissolution of Union with Sweden Popular & Widely Observed
Midsummer Eve Popular & Widely Observed
St. John's Day Popular & Widely Observed
Queen Sonja's Day Popular & Widely Observed, This Day Births
Crown Prince Haakon's Day Popular & Widely Observed, This Day Births
St. Olaf’s Day (Olsok) Popular & Widely Observed
Crown Princess Mette-Marit's Day Popular & Widely Observed, This Day Births
Halloween Popular & Widely Observed
Father's Day Popular & Widely Observed