Easter in Norway
Why Easter is mysteriously happy
Easter = Påske!
In Norway, Påske is a major holiday. It means heading to the mountains to enjoy the season's last opportunity to get some serious skiing in ...
... and getting a tan whilelounging in the sun by the wall of your hytta (cabin).
Not to mention all the tasty snacks! Kvikk Lunsj chocolates, marzipan sweets, Soloorangesoda, sweet bunsand oranges ...
... lots of oranges.
When American outdoor blogger Silvia Lawrence moved to Norway, she discovered a different kind of Easter.
She loves skiing, which is very fortunate – because at one point, American Silvia Lawrence moved to Norway and rural Rauland, a winter paradise surrounded by snow-clad mountains.
Each spring, just when she thinks winter will soon be over, one of the most popular skiing holidays in Norway starts: Easter.
Silvia embraces local Easter traditions and writes about them and all things unique to Norway on her blog “Heart my Backpack”.
“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,” says Silvia.
“In the following weeks I got proof every day that Norwegians are really into this holiday,” she adds, and assures us that Easter as it's celebrated in Norway is very different from the same celebration in her home country, the USA.
“Here, Easter traditions revolve around the skiing, Kvikk Lunsj chocolates, and 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.”
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 are skiing in T-shirts or even sunbathing in the snow. It’s bizarre!”
Norway is a paradise for skiing of any type, and you can go cross-country skiing almost anywhere. Easter and spring is also the dream season for downhill. Click below to discover four reasons why you should hit the slopes in spring:
Urban Easter is the alternative for a small but hip crowd who prefer to visit cafés and art exhibitions when the rest of the pack heads for the mountains. There are also concerts, festivals, and other events going on all over the country at Easter time. Metal music fans should make sure to be in Oslo during the Easter weekend, when the largest metal festival in Norway, the Inferno Metal Festival, is held!
Norwegians enjoy hiking as much as skiing during Easter, and you will find many city hikes with incredible views. Bring along some Easter eggs filled with candy and have an Easter egg hunt with the family.
Another fun (and freezing) adventure you can do during your Easter holiday is to go ice bathing, which has recently become a very popular trend in Norway.
“I had never heard of it before”
“I love how committed Norwegians seem to be to their Easter traditions. 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,” says Silvia.
Living in Rauland, which is a major skiing destination, Silvia thinks that the long-lasting Easter celebration can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.
“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.”
“Après-ski to Norwegians at Easter means curling up in the cabin with a good mystery.”
The happy facial expressions turn more serious when Norwegians pick up their crime novels, which has become a tradition that is seemingly unique to Norway. Easter in Norway means crime fiction, mysteries, and thrillers.
“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,” says Silvia.
Norwegian Easter celebrations, as overwhelming as they may seem, do not prevent Silvia from feeling at home in Rauland.
“I’m planning to stay in Norway forever.”
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