Easter is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by the Christian community across the globe with much pomp and fanfare. The occasion marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the spring time. Fun, festivities and colorful traditions describe Easter celebrations in Norway. The festival is more associated with vacations in Norway, as the Easter season begins well in advance and ends till late. The Norwegians indulge in cross country skiing, eating lamb, oranges, chocolates and marzipan eggs. Easter is known as Påske in Norwegian. Since daffodils bloom during the spring season, that is, around Easter, the flower, known as "Påskeliljer" in Norwegian, becomes the main symbol for Easter in Norway.
In Norway, the Eastertide starts early i.e. a day before the commencement of the Lent season. This day is known as 'Vastelavent' or 'Schrovetide'. It is from this day that Norwegians start celebrating the upcoming festive occasion, spring season and a new working year. Shrovetide or Eastertide usually lasts for three days, beginning with Shrove Sunday, followed by Monday - referred to as Blåmandag (Blue Monday) and ending with Tuesday - known as Fetetirsdag (Fattening Tuesday). In Norway, Easter calls for celebration and people take a break from their daily chores to enjoy and rejoice the spirit of this festival.
Easter holidays begins from Wednesday afternoon, before Maundy Thursday, and lasts up to Tuesday morning, after Easter Monday. Hence, it is an extended weekend as Norwegians celebrate Easter by visiting various holiday spots. While carnivals take up the streets of Norway during the Eastertide, some other rituals and customs are also carried out. One such custom is reading crime stories and thriller novels. As Easter approaches, Norwegians involve themselves in the national pastime of reading such books. Nowadays, television channels in Norway present thriller shows during the Easter season.
In Norway, special celebrations are held in schools on Easter, where children dress up and play 'Slå katten av tønnen', meaning knock the cat off the barrel, where a wooden barrel is filled with sweets and a toy black cat. The children, then, stand in a row and, one by one, strike the barrel with a wooden stick. The child who manages to shatter the barrel is entitled the cat king and receives the cat, along with a crown. Easter chickens, Easter eggs in all colors and, occasionally Easter bunnies, form a part of the Easter day celebrations in Norway, with yellow being the dominant color. Private homes, shop windows, newspapers and magazines, plastic bags and television, are all loaded with drawn chickens, plastic chickens, cotton chickens and chickens made from all sorts of materials.
Easter celebrations start very early in Norway, when compared to other countries of the world. Know more about the festivity of the country.