To be honest, I didn’t celebrate Easter, but I was told that the usual Norwegian Easter looks like this: Wednesday before Easter is the last day of work and some shops and businesses close early. The shopping centers are packed with people getting their last supplies for Easter. Others are already on their way to their mountain cabins, camping and skiing, or visit their relatives. The official Easter public holidays start already on Thursday in Norway. All the stores and businesses are closed from this day.
The following Good Friday is generally a quiet day. After a religious tradition, meat is not to be eaten and a quiet reverence should be kept, comparable to Germany. But it doesn’t seem like everybody is keeping up this tradition – on Friday we had a Norwegian and Californian guy, Oliver and Sverre (who has Norwegian relatives and is visiting them for a while), over for visit (additional to my visit from Germany, Tim) and they didn’t care about the meat in the food at all, which Oleksandr and Artur prepared. Afterwards we went outside and Sverre taught us how to walk on a slackline, which was pretty amazing.
But back to the Norwegian Easter: On Easter Saturday, even if it is not a public holiday, the shops close early and there is little activity. Norwegians celebrate it either quietly at home or more likely with outdoor activities. Sometimes skiing competitions for school children are organized by the communities.
On Easter Sunday, the actual Easter, eggs (in all variations) are served for breakfast (and many people raise Norwegian flags in the garden – I don’t know why, it was just an observation today). The boiled eggs are often dyed or painted before eating. Of course the Easter egg hunt is a common tradition in Norway too while the Easter Bunny is a new addition to the Norwegian Easter due to commercial advertisement and TV programs. Traditionally, the chicken and eggs are the symbols of Norwegian Easter. At lunchtime, while being outside, oranges and the typical ‘Kvikk Lunsj’ – comparable to Kit Kat – are a must. Later for dinner it is very popular to eat Easter lamb.
Moreover the crime story genre is a tradition at Easter in Norway. Each year, nearly every TV channel produces a crime miniseries for Easter and the milk company prints crime stories/brain teasers on their cartons. Easter TV quizzes are also very common.
On Easter Monday nothing special happens, it is the end of the Easter holidays and everybody returns home, ready for the second half of the semester. All in all the Christian background of Easter is loosening more and more importance in Norway, instead Easter is understood as a celebration of skiing, the mountains and time spent with the family. Just thoroughly Norwegian ;)
Ønsker dere alle ein riktig god påske!