Welcome to the 

Museum Of 
Norwegian Occasions


Experience unique Norwegian occasions, traditions and learn about how Norwegians celebrate extraordinary events – big or small. Check out what Norwegians do every Friday (Taco-fredag), what Easter-crime (Påskekrim) means, how they celebrate the Norwegian Constitution Day (17. mai), and many other weird, fun and special Norwegian occasions.

The museum is situated in one of Norway’s oldest department stores, Glasmagasinet, in the heart of Oslo. It is a unique combination of an iconic department store, and an in-store museum. Glasmagasinet is the go-to -place for Scandinavian interior design, fashion, accessories, beauty, homeware, furniture, and handcrafts – suited for any occasion. 

- And the best thing is that you can buy everything from the museum with tax free shopping!



"Peoples party"
"One day of voluntary work"

When a lot of people convene for a big event, Norwegians call it folkefest. A typical Norwegian 
folkefest often relates to a sporting event such as 
Holmenkollenstafetten, a public relay race held in Oslo in the spring. Norwegians love to watch people participate in a sporting activity while they cheer and drink. In particular, cross-country skiing in the winter time is a very popular 
folkefest occasion in Norway. The biggest Norwegian folkefest, on the other hand, is May 17 - the Norwegian Constitution Day. You can read more about May 17 at the 3rdfloor in Glasmagasinet

Every year, housing cooperatives and residents’ associations arrange a day for cleaning up the neighbourhood´s communal areas. The person in charge for the day delegates chores for everyone to do. After the work is done, the neighbours drink beer and eat sausages together. Norwegians talk a lot about the dugnadsånd (the spirit of the dugnad) as an example of the best of Norwegian behaviour, but such occasions are also known for all the really bad excuses people come up with for not doing their bit. 

"Sheep in cabbage dinner "
"Norwegian Christmas"

The Norwegian Jul is based on Christian traditions. The main event is on Christmas Eve, December 24, when most Norwegians eat Christmas dinner at home or with relatives. Depending on personal taste and regional traditions, people eat ribbe (porkribs), lutefisk
(cod cured in lye), or pinnekjøtt (dry-cured ribs of lamb) on Christmas Eve. Christmas presents are placed under the tree and unwrapped after dinner.

The Norwegian fjøsnisseis a bit different from the more typical international Santa Claus figure. The fjøsnisseis a magical barn gnome who looks after animals in the barn and eats risengrynsgrøt (rice pudding). Many people put out a bowl of risengrynsgrøt for him on Christmas Eve!

Spise matpakke
"Eating your packed lunch"

Spise matpakke (to eat your packed lunch) is one of the most Norwegian things you can do. A matpakke usually contains two to four slices of bread (brødskiver) with toppings (pålegg) on them, often slices of hvite or brown cheese, liver pâté, caviar, mackerel in tomato sauce, ham, or salami. We eat matpakke for lunch at school or work, but also when we go hiking or on a skiing trip.

Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish and is also considered to be the national dish. It is made from boiled lamb, cabbage, and whole peppercorns, and cooked for several hours in a casserole dish. Fårikållag is the name of a feast, celebrating the sheep in cabbage season, typically prepared in early autumn. It sucks to be a Norwegian sheep at this time of year!

Taco (yes, the Mexican dish) is one of the most popular foods in Norway. Norwegians eat Tacos every Friday, at home, while watching something called Gullrekka on TV. Gullrekka is a slang for NRK’s (Norwegian broadcaster) Friday entertainment. First up is a music quiz show, followed by Nytt på Nytt (equivalent to “Have I got news for you” in the UK) where comedians and invited guests take a humorous look at the latest news stories. The final programme is the chat show Skavlan. This is the typical Norwegian Friday night viewing and eating schedule.

"A visit from a friend
of Norway "
Inneklemt dag
"day between public

Norwegians love it when a famous person comes to visit. A Norgesvenn is a foreign politician, artist, or famous person who has been to Norway for work or vacation several times. When a Norgesvenn comes to Norway, he or she is always invited by the press to talk about Norway. Steven van Zandt, actor in the television series “The Sopranos” and
”Lillyhammer”, and guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s
E Street Band, is considered a "Norgesvenn”. The same goes for Horst Tapper (1923-2008), also known as Derrick (German television series). Horst Tapper was in fact offered a free holiday cabin in Hamarøy, Norway, as a thank you for being a Norgesvenn.
Kofi Annan, the Queen of Denmark, the band Smokie, 50 Cent, Samantha Fox, Wyclef Jean, and Isac Elliot are all considered to be Norgesvenner- friends of Norway.


An inneklemt dag occurs when a day is jammed between two official days off, e.g. the Friday after Ascension Day (Thursday) and before the weekend. Since the days before and after are days off, Norwegians tend to think that the inneklemt dagis another good excuse for staying home from work. May is high season for this, with May 1 (International Workers’ Day) and May 17 (Norwegian Constitution Day), Ascension Day, and Whit Monday - it`s really impressive that we get anything done at all!

Brasilkampen i 98´
"Brazil soccer match in 1998"
Small talk
"small talk"

Norwegians are not known for their small talk – and when we do small talk, it´s mostly about the weather. Luckily, we have a lot of weather! The weather in Norway changes often, within the same day and from one day to the next.  There is a popular Norwegian expression about the weather that is safe to use in any weather-related conversation: Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær! (there is no bad weather, only bad clothing!)


Norwegians are huge soccer fans, but the Norwegian national team has been a disappointment for the last 15 years, not even qualifying for a single World or European cup since the year 2000.  Once it was different: in the 1990s the Norwegian national team was one of the most respected teams in world football, once actually reaching the No. 2 slot in the Fifa rankings. Norway's greatest single result was the win against Brazil on June 23 1998 in the World Cup group stage. The country stood still as a penalty against Brazil was given, with the scoreboard showing 1-1. Kjetil Rekdal scored the penalty, securing Norway a 2-1 win. Norway went crazy, and the streets of Oslo were filled with dancing Norwegians.

Ta bussen
"taking the buss"
Få igjen på skatten
"Getting a tax refund"

Norwegians love public transport. They find it to be convenient. Foreigners are encouraged to take the bus when visiting Norway but are often warned about cultural differences. Norwegians do not enjoy talking to strangers on the bus. They use noise cancelling headphones and look at their phones to avoid unwanted conversations.


Få feriepenger
"Getting vacation

Norwegian employees save 10% of their monthly pay all year in order to get enough money to go on a longer holiday in the summer time. The money saved up is issued just before the summer months and is the cause for some celebration. Norwegians spend their feriepenger on new clothes, flight tickets, hotels, and restaurants. Norwegians loaded with feriepengerare also believed to be friendlier and more outgoing.


Å ta kvelden
"To leave or to turn in"

This expression is not about going out to be the king or queen of the night. On the contrary - when someone talks about "å ta kvelden" they are ending the day - either going to bed, or leaving work to go home. 



Norwegians love to refurbish! Every year we spend around NOK 70 billion on refurbishment, more than any other European country. We are always on the lookout for the best designer gadgets, and the colour of the month. Forty per cent of us refurbished last year, with a further 40 per cent are planning to do so within the next twelve months.

Norwegians are serious when it comes to taxes. A common expression in Norway is that the two things you can trust in life are death and the tax system. Tax rates are high, but most Norwegians pay the average 36% on all their income with a smile on their face. In springtime, we all dread the day when we receive a letter that tells us we have paid too little tax for the previous year. If you’re lucky, you will have paid too much and can start looking forward to getting a tax refund, and thinking about a new laptop or upscaling your holiday plans from a campingtur (camping trip) to a Sydentur (a holiday in the sun). There’s more about the latter elsewhere in the museum. The other alternative is not that much fun - you have to pay the amount of underpaid tax within a short period of time.

Sakte tv
"Slow TV"

Slow television, or slow TV, is a term used for a genre of "marathon" television coverage of an ordinary event in its entirety. It was popularized in the 2000s by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), starting with the broadcast of a 7-hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo, minute-by-minute. After the success of Bergensbanen, NRK decided to make more slow TV. Recent years have found Norwegians watching programmes such as the cruise ship Hurtigruten’s entire journey along the Norwegian coast, watching a wood fire burn for 12 hours on nasjonal vedkveld
(national wood night), and many more. These televised events have received great attention from both Norwegian and foreign media, and are considered to be a great success, with viewing figures exceeding all expectations.


Norwegians love meetings - we spend most of our working days in meetings, ending the meeting by planning when to have the next one. Some meetings are only about this - to plan future meetings.

Å ta en pust i bakken
"To take a breather"

Si hei! (Say hello!). Norwegians are very informal. We seldom use titles, greeting everyone with a simple “Hei!”, and if we´ve met them before, follow up with takk for sist (“Thanks for last time”). We refer to everyone, from our own children to our bosses, as “Du” (you), and no longer use the polite form of the verb. The only exception is when we greet members of the royal family. The protocol here is to bow and greet them by their proper title, using the third person form - but being as relaxed as our royal family, we tend to forget ourselves, calling them “Harald” or “Sonja”, or even just saying “Du” to them as well.

"Pre-party gathering"

While after-parties are a common practice worldwide, the vors is a bit more typically Norwegian. The afterparty is still popular in Norway (Norwegians call it a nach, or nachspiel), but Norwegians also go in for a pre-party called a vors, from vorspiel. Because buying alcohol in bars and nightclubs in Norway is expensive, Norwegians buy alcohol from shops and bring it home. Many people gather a few friends and have a few drinks at home to get a cheaper buzz before hitting the town.


When Norwegians need a break, either from too much work, or when out on a Sunday trip (see Søndagstur), or when shopping, we say that we need “to take a breather”.

So, try it out: please sit down and ta et pust i bakken.

"Cucumber time"

During fellesferien (the public holiday in Norway that lasts all of July) it´s hard to be a journalist. All their sources in governmental offices are on holiday, no important decisions are being made, no big events are happening all month, and the journalists (usually juniors that don´t get vacation) have to write unimportant, silly stories - called agurknytt (news about cucumbers). The word comes from olden times when young journalists were sent out to check the prices of cucumber during summertime. This season is also known in other countries as Silly season.

"Friday pint"

After working a long week, colleagues often meet up for beer, often pils (lager), on Friday afternoon. Although the name of the occasion implies that it´s just one beer, the amount of beer drunk often exceeds that many times over. The Fredagspilsworks as “social glue”, and the event can be important when it comes to taking part in office conversations during the coming week.

Many Norwegians work shorter hours during the summer. The official sommertid means that employees work one hour less each day of the week. Sommertidlasts from May 15 to September 14.  

Da Oddvar Brå brakk staven
"When Oddvar Brå broke his ski pole"

Norwegians never forget their heroic national athletes. In 1982, the World Cup in cross country skiing was arranged in Oslo. During the last lap of the men’s relay, Oddvar Brå of the Norwegian team was in the lead - closely followed by Russia’s Aleksandr Zavjalov. At a critical moment, Brå’s ski pole tip snapped, and the Russian caught up with him. But Brå, who was soon handed a replacement pole, still managed to win the gold medal - but so too did the Russian, in a tied finish. It was over 35 years ago, but Norwegians still ask each other the question: Where were you when Oddvar Brå broke his ski pole?

"Autumn break "

Many Norwegians go hiking in the mountains or forests with their families during høstferie, the annual school holiday in October. The trees and foliage turn yellow and red, it starts to get colder, and the leaves start falling from the trees – also the perfect excuse for an indoor snuggle with good food and a movie.

Kulda setter inn
"The cold sets in"

Every autumn in Norway, a day comes when we know that the cold can no longer be kept at bay with a normal jacket and jeans. It’s the day when the kulda setter inn, the cold sets in. After that day, we know it won`t be really warm again until the spring comes. The cold penetrates the walls of our house, gets into our bones, and if it really gets to us we have to drink warm beverages in the bathtub to get warm. Every day we prepare ourselves for battle: outdoors with huge jackets and warm clothing, inside with woollen socks, jumpers, and slippers, wrapping our bodies in big, woollen blankets - actually, it´s all kind of cosy! 

"Tropical Night"

In Norway, people seldom experience temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius during the night. This is why Norwegians use the term Tropenatt when referring to a night with temperatures rising to 20 degrees Celsius and above. Because these nights are so rare, Norwegians try to stay awake and outside for as long as possible.

"Coffee break"

The Kaffe pause has a long history in Norway. The Norwegian kaffe pause involves sitting down with colleagues, friends, or family while drinking coffee and talking, for example, about the weekend. Some even claim that Norwegian workers took the kaffe pause with them when emigrating to America – making the coffee break a Norwegian invention.

Årets første bad
"First bathe of the year"

This occasion might sound more suspect than it really is: it´s got nothing to do with Norwegian levels of hygiene (if anything, we shower too often). It refers to when we swim outdoors, in a lake or in the sea, for the first time each year. After a long winter, we can´t wait to jump into the water as soon as the ice melts and the sun comes out. After all, we have the world’s second longest coastline, and a lot of great places to take a dive! The first bathe of the year is often accompanied by a hot drink, blankets, and a selfie to show the world you´re a real Viking!  

"Fasting evening"

Fastelavn is traditionally the week before the Christian fast of Lent. On Fastelavn Norwegians eat sweet buns (boller) filled with whipped cream and topped with icing sugar. Another popular custom (especially among children) is to make fastelavnsris- a bouquet made of twigs, decorated with feathers in bright colours. As the country has become much more secular, Norwegians tend not to fast anymore - but we still eat the buns!

Norway is a liberal country, and you can get married wherever and to whoever you wish. The Norwegian same-sex marriage law that gives gay couples equal rights came into force in 2009. As of February 2017, the Church of Norway decided to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies. All you need is love!   

"Midsummer celebration"

Norwegians celebrate Sankthans (Midsummer, actually St John’s Eve) with boating, parties, and other seasonal activities. People also light bonfires out of joy and gratitude for the warmer, brighter, and longer summer days.


The Norwegian birthday song is a happy and jolly song with dance moves like bowing and jumping, and can be translated as:

“Hurray for you for celebrating your birthday!

Yes, we congratulate you!

We all stand around you in a ring,

And look, now we’ll march,

Bow, nod, curtsy, we turn around,

Dance for you and hop and skip and jump!

Wishing you from the heart all good things!

And tell me, what more could you want?

"Weekend binge drinking"

Because of strict alcohol regulations in Norway (a state monopoly, and high prices), Norwegians have a tendency to concentrate their alcohol consumption to the weekends. Helgefylla
involves going to bars and nightclubs on the weekend to get drunk. Norwegians are known to become friendlier and more outgoing at weekends, especially towards taxi drivers (showing interest in their profession, asking foreign taxi drivers where they originally came from, and so on…). Disclaimer: This is a tendency amongst some Norwegians - many have healthier drinking habits. 

Ikke tråkke på kumlokk
"Avoid stepping on manhole covers"

Norwegians are known to be superstitious. Many people try to avoid stepping on manhole covers, because it can cause bad luck. If a black cat crosses the road in front of a Norwegian, he or she will knock on wood to prevent adverse things from happening. If you serve a Norwegian a slice of cake and it falls on its side as you serve it, Norwegians believe that the recipient will have a seriously hard time finding someone to marry.

"Sunday trip"

It’s a Norwegian tradition to go on søndagstur– a trip to the mountains, forest, or islands for a hike and a cosy lunch - every Sunday throughout the year. A typical Norwegian saying regarding a søndagstur is that “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”. Norwegians rarely greet strangers in town, but they do so when out walking in natural surroundings. 

Første skoledag
"first day of school"

All Norwegian children start school when they are 6 years old. On the first day we all get a fadder- a mentor from among the school’s older pupils who takes care of you, chases the bullies away, and teaches you about everyday life as a new pupil. All the children wear backpacks that contain the packed lunch (see matpakke).

"A trip to the cabin"

Owning a cabin, or sharing one with the family, is a big thing in Norway. There are two types of cabin Norwegians go to during hyttetur– one by the sea, or in the mountains. The cabin should always be hidden away somewhere rural. The more primitive the cabin is, the better. A good Norwegian hyttetur involves doing the dishes manually, playing cards, drinking chocolate milk, and using an outdoor toilet.

"Maternity group"

An arena where new mothers can talk about stretchmarks, sleep problems, and other issues in becoming a Mum. A barselgruppe is also known as the Barnevognmafiaen (the stroller Mafia), dreaded by café owners and guests alike for interrupting a peaceful environment with crying babies, diaper changes,and chatter.

"Paternity leave"

In Norway it is common to see Daddies walking around with strollers during work hours. This is all due to pappapermisjon (paternity leave) which is highly appreciated by most Norwegian fathers. After every birth, the parents both benefit from two weeks’ leave, and then divide up the 46 weeks of parental leave, during which they still receive a full salary. In this way we give men a chance to play a bigger part in the lives of their babies, who therefore spend their first year with both parents. 

"Children’s birthday"

When celebrating a barnebursdag in Norway, friends are invited to the home of the birthday child. Balloons are very popular, and the children are served chocolate cake - often shaped and decorated like a football field - and sausages. The wienerpølse sausage is a boiled, thin and long hot dog, and is a firm fixture at most Norwegian children’s birthday parties. 

Ta ferje og spise svele
"Taking the ferry and eating pancakes"

Every now and then while travelling in Norway, a ferry is needed to cross some of Norway’s many fjords. Norwegians love taking the ferry (except those who easily get seasick). When taking the ferry, Norwegians always eat svele, a batter-based cake similar to a pancake. Svele originates from Møre and Romsdal, a region in Norway with many fjords and ferries. It is usually served with butter, sugar or brunost– a Norwegian brown cheese, or goat’s cheese. 

Det siste kakestykket
"The last piece of cake"

In Norway, it is impolite to take the last piece of cake - most of us would rather starve, or see the cake turn sour, than to cross the fine line between being a normal person (not taking the cake) and being a vulgar or crazy person (taking the last piece of cake). Enjoy!

"Trip to the south"

Not surprisingly, Norwegians seek out sun and warmer climates when going on holiday. In the ’70s, airlines started to expand their commercial routes, and the term soltur (sun trip) was born. Thousands of pale, Norwegians, depressed by the winter, now had the chance to visit places like Gran Canaria, Mallorca or the Greek Islands. All these places fall under the same heading, as if they were one country: Syden( the South). In Syden Norwegians drink cocktails, swim, sunbathe, and eat at restaurants where the local waiter has learned enough Norwegian to get more tips.

Føde før 1. september
"Giving birth before September 1"

When planning a pregnancy, Norwegians will try to make sure their baby is born before September 1 in order to secure a spot in a kindergarten for their baby. 

"Knitting fever"

Knitting was largely viewed as a hobby for old women until a couple of years ago, when knitting fever gripped the country. People, young and old, take their knitting almost everywhere. Norwegian celebrities like the talk show host Dorthe Skappel made their own knitting patterns for people to buy and copy. Knitters blog about knitting, talk about it on podcasts, and exchange knitting tips on social media and at events.

Å være midt i smørøyet
"To be in the middle of the butter's eye"

The best part of the Norwegian version of porridge (grøt) is the ’eye’ of butter that we put on top of it, in the middle of the bowl. Consequently, we use this expression about being in the best place imaginable, as close to pure happiness as you can get.

"A sunny day"

In Norway you have absolutely no way of knowing when a solskinnsdagmight occur. If a listening to stories from the second world war Norwegian experiences a solskinnsdag he or she will have to stay outside in the sun for as long as possible. The Norwegian 
solskinnsdaginvolves ice-cream, a barbecue, and a lot of sunscreen.

If it’s warm outside, the unwritten rule is that you’re not permitted to complain about the weather being too hot, and staying inside is absolutely forbidden.

"Easter crime"

Every year in Norway, nearly every TV and radio channel produces a crime series for Easter. Publishers churn out series of books known as “Easter thrillers”, and even the milk producers print crime stories on their cartons. Nobody knows why Påskekrim is such a big thing during the Norwegian Easter Holiday, but Norwegians have embraced it, and tend to relish the combination of Easter and crime.

"Waiting for the result of an election"

Many Norwegians are interested in politics, and proud of living in a democracy. This is probably why Norwegians turn the day of an election into a social event, lasting all night. Staying awake while waiting for the results of the election with friends or family is a special occasion. Some hold a valgvake(literally “election wake”) at home, while others gather at the local pub. 

Gutta på skauen
"The lads in the woods"

Sitting down and listening to stories from the second world war is a popular pastime in Norway. Norwegians especially love stories about gutta på skauen, who were members of the Norwegian resistance movement established following the German occupation of Norway in April 1940. Movies, books, and TV series about the gutta på skauen are also considered to be very popular.

"A tasteless trip to Sweden"

Many Norwegians drive to Sweden in order to purchase groceries, chocolate, tobacco and alcohol at cheaper prices. “Harry” is a Norwegian slang term, not a person, but a concept, associated with words like tasteless, vulgar, or tacky. In other words, “Harry” is the opposite of cool. “Tur” translates to “trip”, and Norwegians love taking a harrytur, knowing full well that it’s vulgar – Norwegians don’t care.

After a day of slalom, telemark skiing, or snowboarding, Norwegians meet up at bars at the bottom of the slopes for a drink, and to sing along with a band that only plays songs everyone knows (a phenomenon known as allsang). At the afterski you will repeatedly hear people saying skål- the Norwegian word for “cheers”.

"Moose hunting "

Autumn is moose hunting season all over the Scandinavian peninsula (Sweden, Finland, and parts of Russia). In terms of both the quantity of meat and cash value, the moose is the most important prey in Norway. Elgjakta is a growing leisure activity for many people, and every year 30,000 moose are culled in Norway.

"night and day"
"Blue Monday"

An everyday occasion, literally. In Norway, døgn is the word we use to describe 24 hours, or one night and one day. If you pull an “allnighter”, either with work or at a party, we say that you have døgna.

Blåmandag is traditionally the first Monday of Lent, but now Norwegians use the expression whenever we are having a bad Monday - usually after too much partying over the weekend. It is common to ask your colleague if he or she is “having a blåmandag” if they’re looking a bit tired at the start of the week. 

"Victory in Europe Day"

May 8 is one of the most important official days in Norway, as it marks the anniversary of our liberation from Hitler’s Germany in 1945, after five years of occupation. The newspaper headlines at the time read Norge atter fritt! (Norway free again!) and on streets all across Norway, Norwegian flags waved in the air. On June 7 of the same year, our late King Haakon V returned from exile in London. On that day the exterior of this building, Glasmagasinet, was decorated with a huge Velkommen hjem (Welcome home) sign.

Årets første snøfall
"The first snowfall of the year"
"Pre-Christmas workplace party"

It is just as beautiful every year - the first snow makes the dark days brighter, nicer, and more peaceful. Everything stops for a little while, we look up into the sky and see the fine, white crystals dancing towards us and down to the ground. We unpack our skiing equipment, woolly jumpers, and sledges. It really is magical…at least for a while. After a few weeks we look down again, cursing while digging our cars out, and trying not to break a leg on the icy walk to work. 

The annual julebordis a pre-Christmas workplace party or feast, where all of the company’s employees come together to socialise and have a good time. This event is often held at hotels and restaurants.

To foreigners, Norwegians often seem to be a reserved and quiet people, but at a julebord they really let their hair down, becoming a lot more outgoing and friendly. This may have something to do with the traditional schnapps drink Akevitt (from aqua vitae, or water of life)

"An outdoor pint"

According to the BBC, the definition of utepils is “the act of sitting outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer”. Norwegian is actually the only language to have a word for this occasion. When spring finally comes to Norway, Norwegians move fast, and find a sunny spot at a bar to enjoy a beer. The first utepils of the year represents the end of the long winter, and the promise of a long, brighter and warmer season.

Ta helga
"Taking the weekend"

Norwegians have a relaxed attitude to when the weekend actually begins. During the skiing season, our weekend starts before everyone else’s, so we don´t have to get stuck in traffic on our way to the mountain cabin. The result is that everyone tries to get out of the office earlier, just to find themselves in the same slow-moving traffic every weekend. And it doesn`t stop there: people then try to ta helga (go off for the weekend) earlier and earlier as the season goes on. By the end of the season, many offices are empty on Thursdays at around lunchtime.

"Snowed in"

Most Norwegians are fond of winters with a lot of snow, but it can all get a bit too much. Sometimes the snowstorms are so fierce that we find ourselves snowed into our cabins or houses. Luckily, we like to kose oss (see the entry for kose seg, or promoting emotional wellbeing), so when we get snowed in, we see it as an opportunity to put on our kosedress (casual clothing for lounging about in, usually old sweatpants and college sweaters), drink hot chocolate, and watch movies until someone comes to dig us out.  

"Going door-to-door singing Christmas Carols"

In some places in Norway children dress up and go from door-to-door singing Christmas Carols. In many ways julebukk is the Norwegian version of the American (originally Celtic) tradition of “Halloween”. But the traditional Norwegian julebukk is a charitable act of visiting, giving, singing, and being thoughtful to each other.

"Coming-of-age ritual"

In Norway konfirmasjon marks the transition from child to adult. It is of course principally a Christian ritual, but children in the secular Norway of today may choose whether they want a Christian or a humanist confirmation. But konfirmasjon is a big celebration, and people often dress in traditional costumes such as bunad (see different traditional 
bunaderat Heimen Husflidenin Glasmagasinet). A part from the ceremony, konfirmasjon is mainly a family affair, with perhaps a few close friends. The konfirmant (the child being celebrated) is often lavished with gifts, embarrassing speeches, and songs written and performed by their parents.


Wednesday in Norway is often called lille lørdag which basically means “little” Saturday. Many Norwegians celebrate lille lørdag by going out to a pub or restaurant, dancing, or by just meeting people. But they still go to bed early because they have work the next day.

"The time squeeze"

The word klem can be translated as “hug”, which couldn´t be more confusing when we talk about being in a tidsklemma. Another translation of klemis “squeeze”, a which is far more accurate. To be in a tidsklemma means that life is really squeezing you dry - that juggling a career, a few kids and their activities, keeping fit and healthy, and looking after your parents sometimes just becomes too much, and you need a time-out. 

"Village party"
Norsk sommer
"Norwegian summer"

A Norwegian bygd is a small village or a rural area. For a certain number of days every year, a danseband(often a Norwegian band playing Swedish songs) comes to the village, and the bygdefest is on! The whole community is invited, often to a public house or barn (sometimes you also call these events låvefest(barn parties). We dance and drink himkok (homemade spirits) until the sun comes up, and, if we’re lucky, we might even find that special someone. 

After a long and cold winter, as the weather gets warmer and warmer, so do the people. When Norwegians experience summer temperatures reaching 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, usually in late May or early June, it’s a big celebration. Many people are afraid of staying indoors for fear of missing out on the sunny weather (rainy, cold summer days are also quite common in Norway). From late June to early August, it never gets really dark anywhere in the country, making the days long and the nights short.

"Celebrating the end of school"

Every year, Norwegian teens about to graduate from high school celebrate russetid. It’s a month-long celebration centred on wearing blue or red overalls, partying, drinking, and riding around in (loud!) party buses.

"Public holiday"

Many Norwegians stop working during fellesferien, a three-week long public holiday during the summer. Government, parliament, and many private businesses take time off, abandoning their posts, making it almost impossible to find someone to repair a leaking tap.

Norwegians head to the fjords, cabins, or the Mediterranean during fellesferien, leaving empty parking spaces and no traffic jams.

Halv skatt i desember
"Tax deduction halved before Christmas"

Norwegians only pay half tax in December, a government incentive making it easier for people to buy Christmas presents.

Å sitte i solveggen
"Sitting in the sun, in front of a wall"

On a sunny day with cold wind, Norwegians like to take shelter in a corner, or by a wall, out of the wind. Sitting in the solveggen wrapped up in a blanket, scarf, and a thick winter coat while enjoying the “warming” sun is a very common practice in Norway.

Å ha en høne å plukke med noen
"To have a hen to pick with someone"

Norwegians generally avoid conflict. We even have our own word for being afraid of conflict - konfliktsky (conflict-shy). “Å ha en høne å plukke med noen” (literally “to have a hen to pick with someone”) is when we are in conflict with somebody, and we want to get to the bottom of the case and “pick through each feather of the hen” until we get an explanation. (But often we are too konfliktsky to actually do it, and the feathers keep on piling up).

"Crab fishing"

Standing on a pier fishing for beach crabs with a thread and some kokolurer (some type of sea shell), is a big part of growing up in Norway. It’s always catch and release, because the crabs are too small to be eaten.

10 grader i desember vs juli
"10 degrees Celsius during summer vs winter"

Whenever the temperature hits 10 degrees Celsius during the winter, Norwegians wear thick winter coats, boots and scarves to go outside. However, when the temperature drops to 10 degrees Celsius on a chilly summer's day, Norwegians often tend to stick stubbornly to wearing t-shirts and shorts.

"Sledding during winter"
"A skiing day "

Many Norwegians, especially children, love to ride a sled downhill during winter. On the other hand, getting the sled to the top of the hill is often a struggle, and the ride down can get quite cold, because of all the snow that gets in your face.  

Sometimes during winter, schools take the pupils out skiing for the entire day. Pupils are to bring one log each for the campfire, and some sausages to prepare on the campfire for lunch.


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