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Holiday Calendar in Norway

Holiday Calendar in Norway for 2020-2021 year
Many of Public Holidays in Norway (helligdager) mark historical religious events or important days in Norway’s history. However, Norwegians traditionally tend to use most of these days as a reason to get out into the forests and mountains. Even On New Year’s Day, Norwegians will most likely head to the hills for a hike. Despite this being the main Norway’s approach to celebrating public holidays, there is still a lot of interesting things you can see if you decide to visit the country on a holiday.

Public Holidays and Observances in Norway for 2020-2021 year

January 2020

Thursday 23 January - Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø, Norway (The Nordlysfestivalen or Northern Lights Festival has since its beginning in 1988, developed from a small classic music festival, to a huge ten days music festival in Tromsø)
Thursday 30 January - Polar Jazz Festival in Svalbard, Norway (since 1998. It is the world’s northernmost music festival)

February 2020

Thursday 6 February - Sami National Day (Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden)
Friday 7 February - Ice Music Festival in Finse, Norway (They claim to be “the coolest outdoor experience” — and they’re probably right)
Sunday 9 February - Mother's Day in Norway (Second Sunday of February)
Sunday 23 February - Fastelavn in Denmark and Norway (day on which Shrove Monday can fall)

March 2020

Saturday 21 March - Birken ski festival in Rena, Norway (Birken festival, usually taking place in February in Rena, follows the route that a group of skiers took during Norway’s civil war back in 1200, to carry the young prince Haakon Haakonsøn away from the enemies and to safety)

April 2020

Sunday 12 April - Easter in Western Christianity (Første påskedag in Norway); Easter
Monday 13 April - Easter Monday (Påskedag in Norway)

May 2020

Thursday 21 May - Christ's Ascension (or Kristi Himmelfartsdag in Norway); Ascension of Jesus

June 2020

Monday 1 June - Whit Monday (celebrated on the day after Pentecost)
Sunday 7 June - Union Dissolution Day (Norway. The Union Dissolution Day, observed in Norway on 7 June (though not a public holiday), is marked in remembrance of the Norwegian parliament's 1905 declaration of dissolution of the union with Sweden, a personal union which had existed since 1814)
Tuesday 23 June - St John's Eve and the first day of the Midsummer celebrations (Roman Catholic Church, Europe: - Bonfires of Saint John in Spain; Festa del Poble in Andorra; First night of Festa de São João do Porto; First day of Golowan Festival in Cornwall; Jaaniõhtu in Estonia; Jāņi in Latvia; Kupala Night in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine; Last day of Drăgaica fair in Buzău, Romania)

July 2020

Wednesday 8 July - Riddu Riđđu in Northern Troms, Norway (Riddu Riđđu Festivàla, meaning “little storm on the coast” in Sami, is one of their ways to establish and strengthen that culture)
Wednesday 22 July - Gladmat in Stavanger, Norway (One of Norway’s biggest and most important food festivals is taking place yearly in July, in Stavanger)
Wednesday 29 July - Olsok or St. Olaf's Day (King Olaf II Haraldsson of Norway is remembered as Rex perpetuus Norvegiae, the Eternal King of Norway. Olsok is a national day of celebration in the Nordic countries of Norway and the Faroe Islands, and also in the provinces of Härjedalen in Sweden and Savonlinna in Finland)
Thursday 30 July - Oi! Trøndersk Mat og Drikke in Trondheim, Norway (The Festival to celebrate local cuisine)
Friday 31 July - Peer Gynt Festival in Lillehammer, Norway (The Peer Gynt Festival, taking place in the Gudbrandsdalen valley every August, celebrates the iconic play-in-verse by the famous Norwegian play writer, as well as the historical person who inspired the tale—because Per Gynt actually lived in this valley during the 17th century)

August 2020

Tuesday 11 August - Øya Festival in Oslo, Norway (Øyafestivalen is a four-day music fest that brings together about 60,000 people on the green grass of Tøyen Park, who are excited to listen to tunes from internationally acclaimed stars)

September 2020

October 2020

Friday 9 October - Leif Erikson Day (United States, Canada, Iceland and Norway)
Saturday 31 October - Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes, Norway (The Norwegian Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes is all about a semi-fermented trout called rakfisk, that has a unique flavor thanks to its long fermenting process); Halloween

November 2020

Sunday 8 November - Father's Day in Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden (Date for 2020. Celebrated on the second Sunday in November)

December 2020

Wednesday 9 December - Anna's Day (Sweden, Finland and Norway. Marks the day to start the preparation process of the lutefisk to be consumed on Christmas Eve, as well as a Swedish name day, celebrating all people named Anna)
Sunday 13 December - Lucia Festival (a tradition that is widespread in the countries of Northern Europe: Sweden, Denmark, Norway); Saint Lucia Day (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and parts of Italy)
Saturday 26 December - Second day of Christmas (Western Christianity. Public holiday in the Netherlands, Poland, Norway); St. Stephen's Day (public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Andorra, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland); Boxing Day (Belgium, Fiji, The Bahamas, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Samoa...)

January 2021

Wednesday 13 January - St. Knuts Day in Norway and Sweden (the 20th and last day of the Christmas season)

Notes:

Public days off in Norway (with some exceptions) fall on a specific date. This means that there are usually some that fall on a weekend, so the number of actual public holiday days in Norway varies each year. Many of the days fall in May and early June, which can lead to a lot of 3-day or 4-day weeks in the run-up to summer.
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