Easter in Norway


Easter in Norway is a time of great festivities. It’s that time of the year when majority of the natives of the country normally take a break from their usual work. Easter celebrations in Norway begin on the day before Lent and the day is called ‘vastelavent’ or ‘Schrovetide’. Originally this is a church festival prior to Lent, when people celebrate the approach of spring and a new working year.Shrovetide usually lasts for three days beginning with Shrove Sunday, Monday referred to as Blåmandag Blue Monday and Tuesday as Fetetirsdag or fattening Tuesday.

One of the major Easter festive attractions in Norway is that huge carnivals are held before Lent arranged by different organizations and institutions in different parts of the country.

  • Special celebrations are held in schools where children dress up and play at "Slå katten av tønnen" meaning knock the cat off the barrel where wooden barrel is filled with sweets and a toy black cat.
  • The children then stand in a row and one by one strike the barrel with a wooden stick. The one who attempts in shattering the barrel is entitled to be the cat king and receives the cat and a crown to wear. Norwegian Easter is known as ‘påske’ and has its roots in the Jewish Passover, thus lambs are sacrificed and eaten.
  • A common Easter custom in Norway is the tradition of decorating Easter eggs and publishing of series of books as "Easter-Thrillers" or Påskekrimmen. Norwegians also decorate their houses with yellow chicken figurines as they consider it very auspicious.
  • Since the celebration lasts for many days, people look forward in spending some quality moments with their family and close friends.
  • Some of the popular Easter holiday spots in Norway are the historic harbor city of Kristiansand, the capital city of Oslo with magnificent architectural landmarks is no less than a tourist’s paradise and the commercial hub of Hammerfest with its unique fishing fleets is considered to be home to some of the best fish-processing industries of Northern Europe. Thus, Easter in Norway is a time of great jubilation.

Easter Cards in Different Languages