In Norway, Easter is a time for family and leisure. Many Norwegians go to the mountains, while others dive into the nearest armchair with a classic crime story—some even do both.

Påskekort fra 1953. Foto: Nasjonalbiblioteket
Easter Card, 1953. Photo: Nasjonalbiblioteket

Easter traditions differ from country to country. For Norwegians, spending time with family and friends is the most important part of the Easter Holiday. We wish you all a happy holiday with a guide to a typical Norwegian Easter. God påske!

1. Travel to the cabin

Easter is prime time for leisurely activities in picturesque landscapes. Many people go to their cabin during Easter, as it normally is the last chance to spend time in wintery surroundings before spring arrives. The cabin is almost sacred for most Norwegians, as it represents a special place to relax and enjoy the simple life.

2. Crime time

An important part of the holiday is “påskekrimmen”. Easter without a good crime series on TV simply does not happen. If Easter is spent at the cabin, the atmosphere is especially suitable for a spooky evening discussing who might be the killer.

Easter is also high season for crime literature. Nordic Noir has gained popularity outside Scandinavia the past years, and with good reason, we might add. Reading an exciting crime book during the holiday is almost a religious tradition for some. Hot Norwegian crime fiction writers include Jo Nesbø, Karin Fossum, Jørn Lier Horst and Agnes Ravatn.

Photo: Nasjonalbiblioteket
Photo: Nasjonalbiblioteket

3. Go skiing (a lot)

Norwegians tend to spend Easter on skis, whether it’s downhill or cross-country. There’s nothing like a fun day spent outside. On long trips, standard provisions are fresh oranges and crunchy chocolate bars. Soaking up the sun is also a typical ritual on these trips, and some even go as far as skiing in their bathing suit.

But be wary of shifting weather during Easter, and don’t forget to read the Norwegian mountain code (Fjellvettreglene) and the well-known rule number 8; Don’t be ashamed to turn around.

4. Quizzing

Norwegians love trivia and competing. In addition, Norway is one of the countries in the world with most newspaper readers. That means that every magazine and newspaper usually run special Easter editions stuffed with challenging quizzes for the whole family to enjoy. We call them påskenøtter, and there is even a special TV-program for them. There is also a myriad of pub quizzes to check out all across the country during the holiday.

5. Hunt for Easter eggs

If you’re a sweet tooth, this is probably your favorite activity. Looking for Easter eggs filled with candy hidden around the house, is always thrilling. Fortunately, one is never too old for an Easter egg hunt. The Easter eggs have delicious sweets inside, like the classic Easter marzipan with tutti-frutti sprinkles. Yummy!