Norway has a rich history that dates back to the Viking age, around the 8th to 11th centuries. During this period, the Vikings, also known as the Norse, were known for their seafaring and trading activities, as well as their raids and conquests.
In the late Middle Ages, Norway was united with Denmark and Sweden in the Kalmar Union. However, in the early 16th century, Norway broke away from the union and came under Danish rule for several centuries.
In 1814, Norway was ceded to Sweden, but gained independence in 1905. During World War II, Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany. After the war, the country joined NATO and developed a strong welfare state.
Today, Norway is known for its high standard of living, strong welfare state, and abundant natural resources, including oil and gas. It is also known for its progressive social policies and commitment to sustainability.
January 2023 Norway
01 – New Year’s Day
05 – Twelfth Day of Christmas and Twelfth Night of Christmas (Western Christianity)
13 – St. Knuts Day in Norway and Sweden (20th and last day of the Christmas holidays)
21 – Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s Birthday in Norway
27 – Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø, Norway (The Nordlysfestivalen or Northern Lights Festival has grown from a small classical music festival in 1988 to a huge ten-day music festival in Tromsø).
February 2023 Norway
02 – Polar Jazz Festival in Svalbard, Norway (since 1998. The world’s northernmost music festival).
06 – Sámi National Day (Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden)
07 – Ice Music Festival in Finse, Norway (they claim to be “the coolest outdoor experience”, and they’re probably right)
12 – Mother’s Day in Norway (second Sunday in February)
14 – Valentine’s Day
19 – Fastelavn in Denmark and Norway (day that may fall on Shrove Monday)
21 – King Harald V’s Birthday in Norway
March 2023 Norway
21 – Birken Ski Festival in Rena, Norway (the Birken Festival, usually held in February in Rena, follows the route that a group of skiers took during the Norwegian civil war in 1200, to get the young Prince Haakon Haakonsøn away from the enemy and to safety)
25 – Waffle Day in Sweden, Norway and Denmark (Vårfrudagen or Våffeldagen)
April 2023 Norway
02 – Palmesøndag in Norway (Date for 2023); Palm Sunday (Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem)
06 – Skjærtorsdag in Norway (Date by 2023)
07 – Langfredag or Good Friday in Norway (Date by 2023); Good Friday
09 – Easter in Western Christianity (Første påskedag in Norway); Passover
10 – Easter Monday (Påskedag in Norway)
May 2023 Norway
01 – Offentlig høytidsdag in Norway (Norwegian public holiday); International Workers’ Day (May Day)
08 – Veterans’ Day in Norway
17 – Children’s Day in Norway; Norwegian Constitution Day (Grunnlovsdag)
18 – Christ’s Ascension (or Kristi Himmelfartsdag in Norway); Ascension of Jesus
28 – Holy Trinity Day. Pentecost
29 – Whit Monday (celebrated on the day after Pentecost).
June 2023 Norway
07 – Union Dissolution Day (Norway. Dissolution of the Union Day, celebrated in Norway on 7 June (though not a public holiday), is commemorated in memory of the 1905 Norwegian Parliament declaration to dissolve the union with Sweden, a personal union that had existed since 1814).
21 – Midsummer Solstice (International Solstice Celebration Day)
23 – Midsummer’s Eve and first day of Midsummer celebrations (Roman Catholic Church, Europe: – Bonfires of St John in Spain; Fiesta del Poble in Andorra; First night of the Feast of St John in Porto; First day of the Golowan Festival in Cornwall; Jaaniõhtu in Estonia; Jāņi in Latvia; Kupala Night in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine; Last day of the Drăgaica fair in Buzău, Romania).
28 – Gladmat in Stavanger, Norway (One of the biggest and most important food festivals in Norway is held in Stavanger every year).
July 2023 Norway
04 – Queen Sonja’s Birthday in Norway
12 – Fjordens Dag; Riddu Riđđu in North Troms, Norway (held from the second Wednesday of July)
20 – Birthday of Crown Prince Haakon Magnus in Norway
29 – Olsok or St. Olaf’s Day (King Olaf II Haraldsson of Norway is remembered as Rex perpetuus Norvegiae, the Eternal King of Norway. Olsok is a national day of celebration in the Nordic countries of Norway and the Faroe Islands, and also in the provinces of Härjedalen in Sweden and Savonlinna in Finland).
31 – Peer Gynt Festival in Lillehammer, Norway (The Peer Gynt Festival, which takes place in the Gudbrandsdalen valley every August, celebrates the iconic verse play by the famous Norwegian playwright, as well as the historical person who inspired the tale, as Per Gynt actually lived in this valley during the 17th century).
August 2023 Norway
03 – Oi! Trøndersk Mat og Drikke in Trondheim, Norway (Festival to celebrate local cuisine)
05 – Clown Day in Norway (In Norway they call it Internasjonal klovn dag)
08 – Øya Festival in Oslo, Norway (Øyafestivalen is a four-day music festival that brings together some 60,000 people on the green lawns of Tøyen Park, excited to hear the tunes of world-famous stars)
19 – Crown princess Mette-Marit’s birthday in Norway
September 2023 Norway
23 – Autumnal Equinox Day
29 – National Coffee Day
October 2023 Norway
09 – Leif Erikson Day (United States, Canada, Iceland and Norway)
24 – United Nations Day (UN Day)
31 – Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes, Norway (The Norwegian Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes revolves around a semi-fermented trout called rakfisk, which has a unique flavour thanks to its long fermentation process); Halloween
November 2023 Norway
12 – Father’s Day in Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (Date for 2023. Celebrated on the second Sunday in November)
December 2023 Norway
09 – Anna’s Day (Sweden, Finland and Norway. Marks the day when the process of preparing the lutefisk to be eaten on Christmas Eve begins, as well as a Swedish name day, which celebrates all people named Anna).
13 – Feast of St. Lucia (widespread tradition in northern European countries: Sweden, Denmark and Norway); St. Lucia’s Day (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and parts of Italy. Dedicated to St. Lucia’s independence from the UK in 1979).
24 – Christmas Eve
25 – Christmas Day
26 – Second day of Christmas (Western Christianity. Public holiday in the Netherlands, Poland and Norway); St. Stephen’s Day (public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Andorra, Catalonia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland); Boxing Day (Belgium, Fiji, Bahamas, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Samoa…).
31 – New Year’s Eve
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