Norwegian Celebrations and Festivals

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Last updated:
27.07.2020
 

It's natural that every country in the world has its own special traditions and celebrations, and Norway is not an exception. The country is magnificent, boasting incredible natural landscapes, world-famous sights, and rich history, but taking part in one of the famous Norwegian celebrations is among the most remarkable experiences you can get while traveling this wonderful country.

The holidays there are truly special and promise a lot of fun and plenty of incredible memories. Norway boasts very rich and interesting holiday culture, and if you want to catch some local festive days during your travel, here’s a list of national Norway holidays and festivals you would definitely love to be a part of.

Main Norwegian Celebrations

1. Norwegian Constitution Day

The day of the Constitution is a national holiday that is held on the 17th of May and one of the biggest festivals in the country. Norway’s national day is the celebration of national pride and respect. The nation organizes various festive events and mass merrymaking on the streets of Norwegian cities.

By the way, Norway's Constitution Day is also the day when you can get a chance to see Norwegian royalty as the Royal family always comes out to greet hundreds of cheering citizens and join the celebration. Also, it's good to know that in Norway, 17th May is also known as the Norwegian Independence Day.

Norwegian Flag

Interesting fact
One of the main Easter traditions is watching crime shows all day!

2. St. Olaf’s Day

July 29th marks the day of St. Olaf, the patron of Norway. Having more than a 900-year history, this festive day is still loved among the nation. Originally the King, later the Saint, Olaf continues to play a significant role on the culture of Norway.

Basically, Olosk, the second name of St. Olaf’s day, is celebrated with festivals across the country when people commemorate Olaf by singing, dancing and organizing costume performances about the life and merits of this outstanding person.

3. Christmas

For last, we've left the most beloved holiday of all. Of course, Norwegians, like most European nations, respect the tradition to celebrate Christmas and New Year and consider them the main family holidays, as it’s the time when all relatives gather under one roof near the fireplace to exchange presents and spend lovely time together.

Norway vacation before Christmas is a magical experience as the whole country is unified by the merry spirit and fairytale atmosphere. Christmas markets, various concerts, cheerful people...what a lovely time! If you decide to visit Norway in December, don’t forget to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Norwegian. And, as we've mentioned above, you should greet people with the words ‘god jul’!

A woman in Norway celebrating Christmas

TIP: The best way to wish someone Merry Christmas in Norway is by saying "god jul".

4. Bergenfest

If you desire to get both, amazing scenery and a great time on one of the largest music festivals in Europe, welcome to Bergen!

This lively event takes place in mid-June and provides the opportunity to get the best of international and Norwegian music.

Moreover, the location chosen for holding the event is just mind-blowing. Just imagine that you’ll be able to enjoy music hits on the grounds of a medieval fortress, which is the UNESCO World Heritage site, in the very heart of Bergen. Quite a memorable experience to put on your bucket list if you plan to travel Norway midsummer, don’t you think?

Unforgettable Norwegian Festivals

5. Northern Lights Festival

When planning Norway holidays to see the Northern Lights, you can’t overlook the major Norwegian city inside the Arctic Circle, Tromso.

World-famous Northern Lights festival is held from January 26 to February 2 which are the best days for witnessing this natural light show and get unforgettable memories of a lifetime. In addition, the festival implies symphonic concerts, chamber music and audiovisual art exhibitions.

The magical phenomenon of Northern Lights in Norway

6. Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes

Want not only to see but also to get the taste of the country during the Norway trip?

If you plan to visit Norway in November, don’t miss the Rakfisk Festival, hosted in Fagernes. Originally, it appeared as a small local celebration, but nowadays the tiny village in the valley of Valdres receives about 20000 guests every year.

During the festival fish fans from all over the world are welcome to try delicious trout and char as well as to enjoy the picturesque surroundings of Fagernes.

More festivals to keep in mind:

  • Gladmat in Stavanger
  • Oya Festival in Oslo
  • Ice Music Festival in Finse

7. Hell Blues Festival

Among the most significant Norway's music festivals, the Hell Blues Festival has nothing to do with Lucifer. It owes its peculiar name to its scenic host, the lovely village of Hell, nestled not far from Trondheim already mentioned above. Every year, the best musicians from all over the world come to the lovely town at the beginning of September to show how expressive and beautiful blues can be. Even if you are not a fan of this music style, the chances are that you will be after the festival.

Plus, if you decide to attend, upon arrival back home you will be able to tell everyone that you've got a unique chance to listen to amazing blues in Hell during your vacation, when else will you be able to do that?

Hell Blues Festival in Norway

8 World Beard and Moustache Championships

As the name suggests, this festival promises plenty of fun. Every year, men from all over the world come to the charming town of Trondheim, striving to prove the world that they have the most impressive facial hair. There are plenty of categories, including partial beard, natural mustaches, and freestyle.

The judges are famous for their fairmindedness and they take their duties very seriously. If you are interested in seeing it all for yourself (or maybe even want to enter the competition), you should clear the month of May in your schedule.

As you can see, Norway tour has a lot more to offer than just the standard pack of breathtaking fjords, scenic cities, and jaw-dropping landscapes. There are a lot of ways to spice up your vacation and taking part in one of the main celebrations in Norway, be it the Summer Solstice or Christmas, is definitely among the most memorable ones!

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