Easter in Norway – a holiday packed with traditions!

As an MSc student at BI, the Easter holiday seems like the perfect opportunity to finally catch up on or get ahead with schoolwork. But be aware, most Norwegians travel to their cabins (“Hytte”) in the snowy mountains making Oslo feel like an abandoned city for a week.

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Adoration of nature is a vital ingredient in the Norwegian national identity. The anthem “Norway in red white and blue” (“Norge I rødt, hvit og blått”) gives a good representation of this identity. This is probably the reason why Norwegians love their cabins out in the splendid Norwegian nature. There are almost half a million cabins in Norway and more than half of the five million Norwegians have access to a cabin through friends or family.

When going to their cabins, Norwegians are not just relaxing. As we all know, Norwegians are born with skis on their feet – which is why they won 39 medals during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang –  and the Easter holiday is normally perfect for skiing. Usually Norwegians go skiing for a while, and then spend all day out in the sun, bringing traditional Norwegian snacks such as Easter marzipan – honestly not particularly good – , oranges – after eating them you traditionally hang the skin up in a tree – , Kvikk Lunsj – a chocolate bar with hiking tips on the inside of the paper – , and Solo – an orange tasting soft drink similar to Fanta but completely different because it’s Norwegian. For lunch, Norwegians either make an open fire to heat the sausages or they bring them in a thermos – Norwegians do not eat hotdogs with buns, instead they eat it with lompe.

Easter crime (“Påskekrim”) is also an important Norwegian tradition. It’s been a significant part of Easter since 1923, when a successful advertising campaign got everyone reading “The Bergen train robbery” (“Bergenstoget plyndret i natt”) during their Easter holiday. Today even the milk cartons from Tine are filled with “Påskekrim” making Norwegians, if possible, even more addicted to milk. Jo Nesbø is the most famous contemporary writer in Norway specializing in crime novels. His books are translated into more than 40 languages making them a perfect introduction into the Norwegian Easter crime genre. If you would want to become a little bit more Norwegian and read some “Påskekrim” taking place in Oslo, we recommend Jo Nesbø´s The Thirst (“Tørst”).

Easter is one of Sjur’s favorite holidays. He annually goes with his family to their cabin in the mountains of Setesdal, where they spends the holiday cross-country skiing and enjoying the sun. After a long day outside they relax with good food, board games and a lot of fun.

Harald’s best Easter memory, is when he, his girlfriend and some other friends traveled to Folldal. From there they skied for six hours to an old hunting cabin where they spent five days without electricity, running water or cellphone connection. Just relaxing, reading books and playing board games. Note that bragging about a sparatanic experience is a Norwegian tradition.

Hedvig – the globetrotter – often explore other parts of the world during Easter. Last year she travelled to Cuba with two friends and came back full of new memories and experiences. However, since she is a true Norwegian, she usually spends a lot of time in the mountains too. This Easter, she will try to avoid the stupid and tragic tradition of getting into snowboard accidents. In order to make sure of this, she will be heading to Larvik and Farris bad, a spa, to get some massage. The picture of her is actually taken when she was hanging out with her squad right before she broke her back.

So, remember the reason for the season, and please spend it together with people that give you energy, so you can come back from Easter refreshed and happy.

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.”
– Matthew 28:6

Have a blessed and refreshing easter,
Harald, Hedvig and Sjur

 

 

 

 

 

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