Surviving the Norwegian Easter

Staying in Bergen during Easter? Studvest has made a guide for maximizing your holiday.


Easter is just around the corner. Traditionally, Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and Norway is a historically christian country. But it is also a way to celebrate spring arriving.

Even if religion is less practiced nowadays, Easter week is still holy to Norwegians. It is when Norwegians go skiing, hiking, read crime novels and rest. This week is called «Den stille uke» which directly translates to «the silent week». The term is fitting: This may be the calmest week in Bergen during the whole year because everybody leaves the city to go to their cabins. Shops are mainly closed. 

If you’re an international student and you plan on staying in Bergen during Easter, you need a plan. Studvest has made a guide to how to survive Easter in Bergen. 

Go skiing 

You don’t have to travel far outside Bergen to go skiing.

First, Voss may be the most famous skiing destination, and the train takes you from Bergen to Voss in about one hour and a half. There you can do both cross country skiing and alpine skiing. You can also go to Eikedalen from Bergen bus station with bus number 925. 

If you left your equipment in your home country, or don’t have your own, you need to know about BUA. They lend out all kinds of sports equipment, including skiing equipment. But remember to book the equipment online in advance. If you’re going skiing, you also want to bring a pair of «raske briller» or «fast glasses». 

Arrange an egg painting workshop

Eggs are an iconic easter symbol. According to Catholicism, the easter egg represents the tomb from which Christ emerged alive. 

To fill your days, express your creativity by arranging an egg painting workshop. Invite all your friends to this crafty event. In craft shops like Panduro you can find eggs specially made for this purpose, but you can also make them the old fashioned way with real eggs (just remember to remove the contents!). 

Buy eco-friendly and penny-wise decorations

After crafting your eggs, you and your friends are probably hungry. It’s time to make a proper easter dinner. Surprise your friends with a beautiful table perfectly on theme.

ESSENTIALS: Eat and read your way through the Norwegian Easter.

 Fretex is the perfect shop to find cheap and second-hand items. Every year they make a special section for Easter items at very low prices. Good for your wallet and for the environment. 

And don’t forget to buy some pussy willows! 

Eat lots of candy

Easter is a time to enjoy traditional sweets. The morning of Easter Eve, kids (and nostalgic adults) get easter eggs filled with candy. It is also common to eat “Kvikk lunsj” and oranges and drink Solo (the Norwegian equivalent of Fanta) when hiking.

The most typical candy is the special easter marzipan. This candy is often pretty expensive, but the price drops right after Easter, so look out for that. In the meantime, you can try making it yourself. 

To do this, you need:

- 125 g almond powder
- 125 icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- melted chocolate
- colored toppings
- food coloring

Mix almond powder, sugar powder and add the beaten egg whites to it. Mix again with food coloring and shape eggs with your final dough. Melt the chocolate in a Bain Marie. Dip your eggs into the melted chocolate until you cover them completely, and place them on a baking paper. Before they cool down add your colorful toppings on the top.

Read or watch «easter crime»

To feel like a true Norwegian, you have to read crime novels or watch crime series during easter. The genre is called «Påskekrim», and is a Norwegian phenomenon. 

The most famous Norwegian author in this genre is Jo Nesbø, and his books are translated into many languages. Some other popular Norwegian names are Jørn Lier Horst, Lars Kepler and Unni Lindell. If you want to be hyper local, Gunnar Staalesen is a famous crime author from Bergen. 

Beware of the opening hours

Unless you want to go bankrupt shopping for the weekend in the small kiosks, you have to know about the opening hours of the shops in Norway during easter. 

As we all know by now, all shops are closed on sundays. But in Easter, there are more of the so called «red days» in the calendar. Those extra days are thursday the 28th, friday the 29th and monday the 1st. So if you want to impress your friends with that easter dinner on easter eve (saturday the 30th), you should do the shopping on wednesday the 27th. Unless you want to join all the other people stressing around the shops on easter eve.

And of course, Vinmonopolet is closed on the «red days».

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