Norway Traditions

Norway Traditional Dress

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Last updated:
24.07.2020
 

The ancient motherland of Vikings, beautiful Norway abounds not only in natural wonders and picturesque scenery but also in unique culture and numerous traditions, customs and beliefs that are of particular touristic interest. So let’s find out a bit more about Norway culture and some basics of Norway lifestyle and its traditions.

Quick Overview of Norwegian Traditions

What are Norwegian people like?

Basically, Norwegian society is quite a hard-working domestic folk, that's why noisy mass festivities are a rare phenomenon in the country. Instead, the population of Norway tends to spend more time outdoors and be engaged in all kinds of winter sports and camping with the whole family.

Northern Lights Norway

Norway traditional clothing VS modern Norwegian clothing

If we could get a couple of centuries back in time, we would see Norwegians wearing a national costume of Norway called 'bunad'. Traditionally, this closing signified the region people came from that's why there were almost 200 variations of this rural costume.

Norwegian wedding traditions

Wedding customs in Norway are rooted in the traditions of the past. Once upon a time, all the guests got to the bride's place on narrowboats decorated with fancy ribbons and flowers. Modern Norwegians keep this ancient custom with pleasure, organizing beautiful photo sessions during the boat walk. Moreover, the porridge, cooked by the bride on the wedding day is still an essential dish of any wedding table.

Wedding Norway

The dominant religion of Norway

Lutheran religion is the predominant one on the territory of the country. However, Norwegians are tolerant to any other religions as well. The direct proof of this is the largest mosque in Scandinavia, built in Oslo. In general, people in Norway don't like to highlight their religious beliefs but on the New Year eve, the majority of Norwegian families attend the church in order to get a blessing for the next year.

Norway Christmas traditions

Norwegian culture demands to start celebrating Christmas 4 weeks before the big day. Every Saturday up to December 25 locals light up a beautiful four-candle candelabra with the traditional Advent candles. Other peculiar Christmas traditions in Norway include decorating your home with the statues of nisser, a Scandinavian equivalent of a goblin, dancing around the Christmas tree, and watching the classic British comedy called Dinner for One.

Christmas in Norway

Legends and folklore of Norway

If you want to get a deeper insight into the history of the country, you need to turn to the roots - to the folk culture and those beliefs that appeared in ancient times and continue to live until now. Norwegian folklore is based on stories about trolls, elves and other non-human supernatural creatures. Viking legends are an inseparable part of Norwegian heritage as well. Do you know that one of the stories even inspired Tolkien to write the world-famous bestseller 'Lord of the Rings'?

Folklore Norway

How to celebrate Christmas like a Norwegian?
  • Light up four-candle candelabra every Saturday;
  • Decorate your home with peculiar statues;
  • Dance around your Christmas tree;
  • Watch "Dinner for One" comedy;
  • Rush out to buy presents on Christmas Eve;
  • Prepare huge family dinner on the same day;
  • Eat local delicacies like the ribbe (pork ribs), lutefisk (cod), pinnekjøtt (lamb ribs)
  • Enjoy time with family and friends.

Mind the personal space

Interstingly, one of the most peculiar Norway culture facts is that the citizens of this scenic region take their personal space very seriously. If you happen to use public transport during your Norway vacation, you shouldn't take a seat right next to someone else, if there are any other options to choose from. And keep in mind that the general rule is that you should maintain an arm's length distance during the conversation, regardless of how well you know an interlocutor.

Personal space Norway

Easter is a big deal

When it comes to Easter, Norway's customs are extraordinarily rich. The most interesting one that you've probably haven't heard of before involves consuming a lot of crime-fiction content. The locals love to spend time reading crime novels and watching various detective shows during the holiday (good luck finding anything else on TV). Apart from that, Easter and the days-off it brings offer a great opportunity to go on a day-trip to get some sun after the long winter, another popular plan of action during Easter in Norway.

Easter in Norway

As you can see, Norway is a wonderful country boasting unique traditions and peculiar customs. And there is no better way to explore the rich cultural heritage than treating yourself to a fully customizable Norway vacation, featuring the best centrally located hotels, extensive sightseeing tours, and a wide list of authentic activities to spice up your Scandinavian adventure!

 

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