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A quick guide to Norwegian Easter clichés

Norway has a ridiculous amount of wonderful Easter traditions, here's a list of the most important ones.

“What are you doing this Easter?” You get this question a lot in Norway as the country has one of the longest Easter breaks in the world. So how should you be spending your Norwegian Easter? The answer is right here.

Getting high

Norwegians love outdoor activities, and that’s especially true for the people of Trøndelag who are surrounded by beautiful nature. For some, Easter is about shredding the slopes in Oppdal or refreshing tours of cross-country skiing in Bymarka. But the most important outdoor adventure is definitely påskefjell (Easter mountain).

Hiking up a mountain and breathing in the fresh air as you reach the top is what Easter is all about. Tydal is especially popular in the Trondheim area. However, no påskefjell tour is complete without the right food, which brings us to…

The holy snack trinity

Orange slices, Solo, and Kvikk Lunsj — that’s the fuel that powers the påskefjell endeavour. You’ll see happy kids munching on orange slices during pit stops up to the summit. People also guzzle down Solo, an orange-flavoured Norwegian soft drink.

Then there’s Kvikk Lunjs. For us foreigners, it might just seem like an overly-hyped Kit-Kat bar and nowhere near substantial enough to warrant the name ‘quick lunch’... but apparently, we are wrong. It’s 47 grams of pure chocolate perfection that elevates any hike to a near-divine experience — and we better remember that.

Everything you need for a good Easter in Norway: Solo, oranges, Kvikk Lunsj, 'påskefjell', and 'påskequiz'. It's just missing the murders...

Cosy murders

Weirdly enough, a quintessential part of enjoying a cosy Easter break in Norway is snuggling up in your hytta (cabin) and… witnessing a fresh batch of murders. Påskekrims (literally ‘Easter crimes’) is a catch-all term for any crime novels or TV series that are published or enjoyed around Easter.

Despite the popularity of Nordic noir, Norway is the only Scandinavian country to have this tradition. It started back in 1923 with a dramatic ad for a new crime novel just before Easter and from there the tradition grew. Today, even NRK has a specific category in its app for gut-wrenching påskekrims to binge with your family.

You can begin your crime-filled Easter with some of Jo Nesbø’s famous books about detective Harry Hole, a character Nesbø based on Batman and a real-life eccentric football coach Nils Arne Eggen, who used to train Rosenborg here in Trondheim.

Big brain time

Finally, there’s the curious tradition of påskequiz, the Easter quiz. Ever since the ‘80s, people have enjoyed watching family quiz shows like Påskenøtter during Easter. You can also test your knowledge against your friends using any of the yearly påskequiz books. You can find at least one battered old copy in any hytta.

This article originally appeared in The List's 2023 Spring issue.


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