A Royal decree from 1853 states that «From 1854 onwards a yearly market shall be held in Røros, commencing the second to last Tuesday in the month of February, and lasting until the following Friday.”
Today the market has been extended to Saturday. The 162nd Rørosmartnan was arranged from February 17-19 2015. Norwegians Worldwide stopped by, to check out the otherwise tranquil mining town during the year’s most busy week. Approximately 80 000 visitors make the small town packed with people. During these five days Røros is transformed into a bubbly marketplace.
Most of the fair takes place in the two main streets of Røros, where over 250 exhibitors have stalls where you can buy local products as well as a variety of handmade clothes, furs and food. The tradition of coachmen transporting feed and goods across the mountains to Røros, are this way brought back to life.
We were not able to attend the opening ceremony, but according to the locals, this is the highlight of the week. More than eighty horse-drawn sleighs from Sweden, Gudbrandsdalen, Østerdalen, Hedmark, Gauldalen, Selbu and Tydal arrive in Røros after travelling for almost two weeks in the old-fashioned manner. They all gather outside the mining museum, and create a magical experience for the audience.
Many of the backyards of the houses in the town centre open up during the week. This is where people originally gathered to trade, play music, dance, tell stories, laugh and talk, and where there was a cultural exchange between the tradesmen and other visitors. During Norwegians Worldwide’s visit, we walked through the streets and backyards filled with people, music, party, and food. We got to see old traditions being brought back to life, as well as many cheerful people partying in the streets and in the local cafes, tents, and restaurants.