If you live in Norway and want to plan a vacation, visit your relatives in your local country or are simply interested in Norwegian culture – we invite you to read the article. In this article you will learn, among others: what are the days off and holidays in Norway and what are the most important of them.

Norway has always been very popular among economic migrants. Data from the Central Statistical Office (SSB) show that almost 15% of the fjord country’s population are national minorities. 

Warunki zatrudnienia w Norwegii - urlop, czas pracy, płace minimalne

Days off in Norway in 2023

Most days off in Norway are associated with the celebration of religious holidays. Both Norwegian Easter (with a movable date) and Christmas, coincide with the dates of celebrating these celebrations in most European homes. There are a total of 12 statutory public holidays in Norway. Their summary can be found in the table below:

DateHoliday
January 1 (Sunday) New Year’s Day (Nyttårsdag)
April 6Holy Thursday (Skjærtorsdag)
April 7Good Friday (Lang Fredag)
April 9 (Sunday)Easter (Påskedag)
April 10Easter Monday (Andre Påskedag)
May 1 (Monday)Labor Day (Første mai)
May 17 (Wednesday)Constitution Day (Grunnlovsdagen)
May 18 (Thursday)Ascension of the Lord (Kristi himmelfartsdag)
May 28 (Sunday)Pentecost (Første pinsedag)
May 29Pentecostal Monday (Andre Pinsedag)
December 25 (Monday)1st Christmas Day (Første juledag)
December 26 (Tuesday)2nd Christmas Day (Andre juledag)

Are you planning a trip to Norway? Start by learning the Norwegian language.

Holidays in Norway

As mentioned above, Norwegians celebrate Easter and Christmas. Nevertheless, the ways of celebration are marked by Norwegian culture.

What is worth knowing?

Easter:

  • Norwegians associate Easter celebrations primarily with free time spent with family or friends. Only 5% of the residents celebrates this holiday in the church;
  • Easter break from work begins on Holy Thursday. On this day, shops remain closed and do not open until Saturday. For the remaining days they close again;
  • the most popular form of spending time are trips to the mountains or to the lake;
  • Norwegians devote their days off to cultivating the Påskekrim tradition, that is, reading Norwegian crime novels. Apart from that, they together listen to radio broadcasts, watch TV series or play board games;
  • traditional dishes vary from region to region, however, eggs, homemade bread, roast lamb or roast turkey will be on every table;

Christmas:

  • The Christmas atmosphere is felt already in November. Norwegian companies organize during this period, grand employee events called Julebord, of which an inseparable element is eating traditional Norwegian dishes, as well as singing Christmas songs together;
  • in Norway, Christmas markets (julemarked) are very popular, where you can buy and wrap gifts, meet friends or taste mulled wine with spices; 
  • December 23 is Lille julaften, i.e. little Christmas Eve, the time of preparation: cleaning, decorating the Christmas tree, preparing dishes, decorating the house with Christmas decorations.

Interestingly! On Christmas Eve, eating meat is not given up. It appears on the Christmas table in dizzying amounts. On this day you can try, among others: baked bacon or dried sheep ribs.

The first and second day of Christmas are statutory days off. It is an occasion to feast together, talk and rest. It is also a time of reflection. Most Norwegians then go to cemeteries to visit the dead.

Taxes in Norway – How to settle taxes in Norway?

What holidays may still surprise us during the stay in Norway?

Name of the holidayDateDescription



Constitution Day



May 17
A very joyful day in Norway, commemorating the signing of the constitution and becoming independent from Sweden. During the celebration of this holiday, the cities are hung with Norwegian flags, and Norwegians dressed in traditional costumes (bunad) and cotillions roam the streets, shouting Gratulerer med dagen! – All the best!



Jonsok


The night of June 23-24
Norwegian Midsummer Night, i.e. welcoming summer on the shortest night of the year. This tradition dates back to pagan times. Despite the fact that Jonsok is not a day off from work, Norwegians participate in the rites in droves. Bonfires, dances, floating wreaths, boat trips and fireworks make this night magical.



Lucia-Fest



December 13
The festival of light and the beginning of the joyful period of preparation for Christmas, under the patronage of St. Lucy. According to tradition, girls dress in white robes and put a crown of candles on their heads. The celebration of this holiday is accompanied by numerous performances and singing, as well as the preparation of traditional saffron buns.

Many economic migrants spend Christmas abroad, and for some reasons cannot return to their homeland. This special time intensifies the feeling of loneliness and homesickness, however, this can be remedied! Be sure to read about, How to go through Christmas in emigration? Celebrating Christmas in another country doesn’t have to be a cause for sadness. It’s the time to get to know another culture and share your own traditions with the local people.

Start speaking Norwegian! Sign up for a course at the Mester School of Scandinavian Languages.

Vacation in Norway

The issue of payment for days off depends primarily on our employment contract, as well as on the goodwill of the employer. As a rule, if we receive a fixed monthly salary, all days off are counted towards the payment. In the case where we have a fixed rate per hour, only the hours worked are paid.

The employee is entitled to 25 days of vacation. If we plan to take a vacation on a specific date, this fact must be reported to the employer two months in advance.

An employed person may request 3 uninterrupted weeks of vacation, during the holiday period from June 1 to September 30.

In Norway, there is also a holiday allowance, i.e. at least 10.2% of gross salary, which replaces holiday pay.

Check how much is earned in Norway

Important! If the Constitution Day and Labor Day fall on working days, the employer is obliged to pay for them.

When to go on holiday in Norway?

  • Easter (April 6-10, Thursday – Monday)
  • Labor Day (April 28 – May 1, Friday – Monday)
  • Constitution Day / Ascension of the Lord (May 17-21, Wednesday – Sunday)
  • Pentecost (May 26-29, Friday – Monday)
  • Christmas (December 22-26, Friday – Tuesday)

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