Origin and History of Easter in Norway
Officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, Norway is a Nordic country positioned in North Europe. Around 80 percent of the country’s population follows the holy church of Norway and hence, Easter is a highly significant festival here marked with immense glory and enormous carousing. Easter signifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ that occurs on the third day of His crucifixion. This day also symbolizes the colorful beginning of the spring season, marking the end of Lent, the sacrifice month of Christians. Norwegian Easter is known as ‘påske’ and finds its roots in the Jewish Passover. As such, the tradition of sacrificing lambs is religiously followed by all devotees. In Norway, the Easter break is longer than compared to many other European countries. The holidays begin on Wednesday afternoon before Maundy Thursday, and end on Tuesday morning after Easter Monday. This makes for a nice and long Easter weekend in Norway!
Local name: Påske
Ways to celeberate Påske in Norway
Paaske is a huge festive season in Norway. Even the main attractions are highlighted with colorful, energetic, and joyful carnivals. Easter celebrations begin on the day of ‘Schrovetide’ which is the day before Lent. Shrovetide usually lasts for three days starting from Shrove Sunday, continuing with Blåmandag Blue Monday, and ending on Tuesday as Fetetirsdag or fattening Tuesday. Popular and conventional rituals include decorating hard-boiled eggs with beautiful designs and beautifying houses with yellow chicken figurines that are considered for bringing good luck. Another distinct custom includes reading, watching, and publishing murder mysteries on Easter which are commonly known as “Easter-Thrillers” or Påskekrimmen. Special celebrations are also held in schools where children dress up nicely and play at “Slå katten av tønnen”, meaning ‘knock the cat off the barrel’ where the barrel is filled with sweets and a toy black cat. Since it is a long holiday time, many people go on family vacations or on cross country hiking to spend quality time with family and friends.