Updated: Nov 21
For many people in Norway Easter is fairly low key. It is a time for relaxing with family and friends, making the most of the new warmer seasons to come and enjoying a few quiet days when the shops are all closed and very few people are working. The garden centres are stocking up their shelves for the start of spring planting and everyone is striving to make their outdoor space something to really enjoy for every moment of the summer season.
Although Norway is often thought of as a Christian country, it is in fact very secular. Most of the traditions that are celebrated at Easter time are very secular and enjoyed by people of all denominations and religions.
Easter is a time of renewal, spring awakening and looking forward to warmer days and shorter nights. It's a time that unites us all as we celebrate nature, new beginnings and allow ourselves to indulge a little.
I've put together a handful of fun traditions that most commonly enjoyed in Norway at Easter time:
Dive into some påskekrim
This Norwegian tradition is one that I found the most fascinating when I first came to Norway. All over the country there is a fever for crime novels and series over Ester, hence the name "påskekrim" (Easter crime). It even stretches to children's TV where there are crime mysteries to be solved and fun problems to work out. This is the time of year when the best crime novels are released and the most compelling crime series are aired on Norwegian television.
East something with orange and chocolate
Naturally chocolate is firm favourite with everyone at Easter with the usual chocolate Easter eggs. But surprisingly the combination of chocolate and orange always appears at Easter. There are chocolates flavoured with orange and an exciting array of chocolate and orange recipes to experiment and delight in. Last year I invented this fun recipe for suksessterte with chocolate and orange, a modern take on a Norwegian classic dessert. Or try chocolate and orange pavlova at this recipe here.
Don't worry about the calories
Let's face it Easter is the same as Christmas when it comes to the calories - you will probably over indulge a little. But let's not take ourselves on a guilt trip about it- that would be very un-Norwegian. Enjoy it, revel in it and then simply return to your normal healthy diet afterwards. It's such a shame to spoil a fun time of year at the end of the cold days of winter and promise of spring by penalising ourselves. Fresh raw vegetables, salads and a tempting variety of healthy produce await us very soon as summer arrives.
Get outside into nature
Friluftsliv! The outdoor life! It's the official start of spring life outdoors here in Norway. Grab your hiking boots, matpakke (packed lunch) and get out and breathe some fresh air. Norwegians everywhere are outside either making the most of nature, grilling, gardening or snatching those last few weeks of the ski season. If you want to learn more about friluftsliv, check out my new e-guide.
Go to the cabin
Easter is the first holiday of the year when the weather is warm enough to enjoy the hytte or cabin. Many cabins in Norway are without central heating so the warmer weather at Easter is the time when people like to open up their cabins, do some maintenance and prepare them for the summer season and plenty of weekends making the most of what the cabin has to offer. You can read more about "hyttelivet" (the cabin life) here.
How are you going to enjoy Påske (Easter)? Do you find yourself naturally drawn to any of these Norwegian traditions?
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