Norway

Posted by Kristen Cox on

Norway Moxie and King Baby Onesies
For those who love to travel, Norway is one of the top 2022 destinations for a vacation.  Norway is a Nordic Country in Northern Europe, the northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. 
The population of Norway is 5.3 Million people.
The Capital and largest city is Oslo.
Norway borders Sweden, Finland
and Russia. Norway has an extensive coastline facing the
North Atlantic Ocean and Barents Sea. The extensive
coastline keeps the average temperatures milder than
other Northerly latitudes countries. 
Norway is a constitutional Monarchy and divides state power between the Parliament, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court. Norway became fully independent country in 1905. Currently Norway is led by King Harald V, who has very little political power, and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store who leads the elected Parliament. 
Early history will find inhabitants settling along the coastlines taking advantage of fishing and hunting. Slowly over time Indo-European farmers settled in and grew grain and raised cows and sheep. However, the Viking age is what they are best known for. They colonized, raided and traded in all parts of Europe. They discovered Iceland and Newfoundland. After Norway was united under King Harald Fairhair in 872, many left to live in Iceland, the Farow Islands, Greenland, parts of Britain and Ireland. 
Early Norwegians like most Scandinavians followed Norse Paganism and the Sami, a shamanistic religion.  Missionaries arrived between 1000-1150.  Originally part of the Catholic church, the Danish King Christian III of Denmark ordered a conversion to Lutheranism in 1539. Today roughly 69% of the population is Lutheran, with Catholicism as the next largest group at 3%. 
Today, Norway is the second wealthiest country in the world with their standard of living one of the highest in the world. Their hourly wages are the among the highest in the world. Norway is the fifth largest oil exporter and the third largest gas exporter in the world. They are also the second largest exporter of fish. Norway is the world leader in hydroelectric power and the leader in electric cars. 
Tourism is a strong business making 4.2% of their gross domestic product.  Most of tourists come May thru August. The main attractions are fjord-indented coastlines, mountains, waterfalls, ski resorts. lakes and unspoiled nature. Activities such as hiking and skiing are king. Some famous tourist spots are the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Bergen's Bryggen and Vigeland Sculpture Park, 
Other Interesting Facts about Norwegian Culture. 
Norwegian, in its two official written forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk, is the official language, a North Germanic language descended from Old Norse. 
Holidays: 

Holidays and Observances in Norway in 2022

Date   Name Type Flag Day
Jan 1 Saturday New Year's Day National holiday
Jan 21 Friday Princess Ingrid Alexandra's day Flag day
Feb 6 Sunday Saami National Day Flag day
Feb 13 Sunday Mother's Day Observance  
Feb 14 Monday Valentine's Day Observance  
Feb 21 Monday King Harald V's day Flag day
Feb 27 Sunday Carnival Observance  
Mar 20 Sunday March Equinox Season  
Mar 27 Sunday Daylight Saving Time starts Clock change/Daylight Saving Time  
Apr 10 Sunday Palm Sunday Observance  
Apr 14 Thursday Maundy Thursday National holiday  
Apr 15 Friday Good Friday National holiday  
Apr 16 Saturday Holy Saturday Observance  
Apr 17 Sunday Easter Sunday National holiday
Apr 18 Monday Easter Monday National holiday  
May 1 Sunday Labor day National holiday, Flag day
May 8 Sunday Day of liberation Observance, Flag day
May 17 Tuesday 17 May Constitution Day (1814) National holiday, Flag day
May 26 Thursday Ascension Day National holiday  
Jun 4 Saturday Whit Saturday Observance  
Jun 5 Sunday Whit Sunday National holiday
Jun 6 Monday Whit Monday National holiday
Jun 7 Tuesday Dissolution of union with Sweden (1905) Flag day
Jun 21 Tuesday June Solstice Season  
Jun 23 Thursday Midsummer Eve Observance  
Jun 24 Friday St. John's day Observance  
Jul 4 Monday Queen Sonja's day Flag day
Jul 20 Wednesday Crown Prince Haakon's day Flag day
Jul 29 Friday St. Olaf's day Flag day
Aug 19 Friday Crown Princess Mette-Marit's day Flag day
Sep 23 Friday September Equinox Season  
Oct 24 Monday United Nations Day Observance  
Oct 30 Sunday Repentance Day Observance  
Oct 30 Sunday Daylight Saving Time ends Clock change/Daylight Saving Time  
Oct 31 Monday Halloween Observance  
Nov 6 Sunday All Saints' Day Observance  
Nov 13 Sunday Father's Day Observance  
Nov 27 Sunday First Advent Sunday Observance  
Dec 4 Sunday Second Advent Sunday Observance  
Dec 11 Sunday Third Advent Sunday Observance  
Dec 18 Sunday Fourth Advent Sunday Observance  
Dec 21 Wednesday December Solstice Season  
Dec 24 Saturday Christmas Eve Bank Holiday / Observance  
Dec 25 Sunday Christmas Day National holiday
Dec 26 Monday Boxing Day National holiday  
Dec 31 Saturday New Year's Eve Observance
For the little girls out there :) St Olaf's day celebrates King Olaf born in 995. He was granted Sainthood for spreading Christianity to Norway among other places in Scandinavia. He is also the patron saint of Norway. It is celebrated by feasts and festivals. Olaf is a very popular boys name and St. Olaf has a major influence on Norwegian Culture. 
Christmas in Norway: 
Christmas, called “jul” in Norway, actually predates the Christianization of the country.  Jul was celebrated during the second moon (from new moon to new moon) of the winter half of the year – roughly from the new moon of November to the new moon of December. At this time, the animals for slaughter were the fattest, flour had been processed, all the work of autumn was completed, and it was time to celebrate.
Sports are a central part of Norwegian culture, and popular sports include association football, handball, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, speed skating, and, to a lesser degree, ice hockey. Bandy is a traditional sport in Norway and the country is one of the four founders of the Federation of International Bandy. In terms of licensed athletes, it is the second biggest winter sport in the world.
                             

Norway's Culinary Traditions show the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions, with salmon (fresh and cured), herring (pickled or marinated), trout, codfish,and other seafood, balanced by cheeses (such as brunost, Jarlsberg cheese, and gamalost), dairy products, and breads (predominantly dark/darker).

Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread, usually topped with large amounts of butter and sugar, most commonly eaten around Christmas. Traditional Norwegian dishes include lutefisk, smalahove, pinnekjøtt, raspeball, and fårikål. A Norwegian speciality is rakefisk, which is fermented trout, consumed with thin flatbread (flatbrød, not lefse) and sour cream. The most popular pastry is vaffel; it is different from the Belgian vaffel in taste and consistency and is served with sour cream, brown cheese, butter and sugar, or strawberry or raspberry jam, which can all be mixed or eaten separately.

 Of particular note is Edvard Munch, a symbolist/expressionist painter who became world-famous for The Scream which is said to represent the anxiety of modern man. Other notable works from Munch includes The Sick Child, Madonna and Puberty.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980), for which the producers used Hardangerjøkulen glacier as a filming location for scenes of the ice planet Hoth. It included a memorable battle in the snow.
 
When choosing the best time to go to Norway, you need to decide what kind of holiday you want. Do you want to experience the Northern Lights in all its glory? Or hike through epic landscapes? Ski or Hike. Whatever season you chose, it will be a vacation to remember. 

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