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People with skis sitting in the sun in Trysil
Trysil ski resort.
Photo: Ola Matsson

Crime novels by Jo Nesbø, cross-country skiing, and happy mountain cabin life under the Easter sun. When American outdoor blogger Silvia Lawrence moved to Norway, she discovered a different kind of Easter.

She loves skiing, and she should – because at one point, American Silvia Lawrence voluntarily moved to the Norwegian countryside of Rauland, a winter paradise surrounded by snow-clad mountains.

And each spring, when she thinks winter will be over, one of the Norwegians’ most popular skiing holidays starts: Easter.

Silvia embraces typical, local Easter traditions and writes about that and other peculiarities on her blog “Heart my Backpack”.

Easter in Norway means eating Easter lamb, getting an Easter tan when skiing in the Easter mountains, giving each other giant cardboard Easter eggs filled with candy, and reading Easter crime novels like the international bestsellers of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø.

In between the crime novels, Norwegians go skiing again, before gathering in cabins with crackling fireplaces – for example one of the many cabins owned by The Norwegian Trekking Association.

Urban Easter is the alternative for a smaller cool crowd who prefer to visit cafés and art exhibitions when the rest of the pack head for the mountains. There are also concerts, festivals, and other events going on all over the country at Easter time.

“I love how committed Norwegians seem to be to their Easter traditions.”

“When my local supermarket started selling chocolate Easter eggs at the beginning of February, and everyone went crazy buying them, I knew that Easter in Norway would be like no other Easter I had experienced”, Silvia tells.

“In the following weeks I got proof every day that Norwegians really are into this holiday”, she adds, and assures that Norwegian Easter is very different from the same celebration in her home country, USA.

Here, Easter traditions revolve around the skiing, the Kvikk Lunsj biscuit chocolate, and the mountain cabins. Where I grew up in the US, Easter Sunday was a day to put on a pretty sundress, maybe go on an Easter egg hunt at church, and then come home and eat deviled eggs. I actually don’t think I had ever experienced an Easter with snow before moving to Norway, so I never would have thought of it as a popular skiing holiday.”

“Après-ski to Norwegians at Easter means curling up in the cabin with a good mystery.”

To Silvia, it seems like the whole country goes a bit crazy during Easter.

“It’s like a non-stop party, and even if it’s still actually quite cold out, so many people will be skiing in T-shirts or even sunbathing in the snow. It’s bizarre!”

At the same time, she thinks there is a lot to love.

“I love how committed Norwegians seem to be to their Easter traditions. It seems like everyone wants to go up to a cabin in the mountains, go skiing, eat Kvikk Lunsj chocolate and oranges, drink Solo soda, and read crime novels – at least that’s what it looks like to an outsider. I also love how everyone celebrates the end of winter whilst embracing the fact that there’s still so much snow on the ground. In the US, I think I would have been really depressed to still have snow over Easter, whereas in Norway it seems like Easter without snow would be a bit of a disaster – I guess we’d all have to get out our roller skis.”

Living in Rauland, which is a big ski destination, Silvia feels that the long-lasting Easter celebration can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.

Two couples enjoying the snowy landscape surrounding a cabin in Rauland
Photo: CH /

“I mean, our town usually has about 1,000 people, but during Easter it can fill up with over 10,000! But it’s really fun. There are so many events going on, and it seems like all of Norway is smiling at Easter.”

The happy facial expressions will turn more serious when Norwegians all routinely pick up their crime novels, which has become a tradition that is seemingly unique to Norway. Easter in Norway means horror fiction.

“I lived in six countries before moving to Norway, and I had never heard of reading crime novels at Easter before. I still don’t quite get where that tradition came from, but I love the idea of everyone returning to their cabins after a day of skiing and curling up with a good mystery.”

Norwegian Easter celebration, as overwhelming as it may seem, does not prevent Silvia from feeling at home in Rauland.

“I’m planning to stay in Norway forever.”

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