Holidays and Festivals in Norway

Looking to experience something a bit different on your trip to Norway? Here are some of the best holidays and festivals to enjoy in this special country.

When you think of Norway, images of mesmerizing fjords and breathtaking scenery probably spring to mind. But Norway is far more than just nature at its very best. Scratch beneath the beautiful surface, and you’ll uncover the rich culture and historic rituals that give the country its unique character.

Looking to discover the wonders of Norway's events calendar? Here are some of the best Norwegian holidays and festivals to experience on your trip.

Constitution Day

If there’s a single event that truly captures the spirit of Norway, Norwegian Constitution Day is it. Commemorating the signing of the Norwegian Constitution on May 17th 1814, Norwegian Independence Day is a huge occasion, and a joy to experience.

With locals wearing traditional attire (bunads), and children proudly waving their Norwegian flags, it’s hard not to feel fully immersed in the palpable sense of national pride. With a trip to Norway, you’ll get a front-row seat to witness the festivities on board the ship, and feast on some mouth-watering street food in the ports.


Saint John’s Eve

Summer is a fantastic time to visit Norway. Thanks to the Midnight Sun, the days are endless north of the Arctic Circle and there is perpetual daylight along the entire Norwegian coastline. All summer long, you'll find a variety of celebrations, from food fairs to world-class concerts.

On June 23rd, Norwegians come together to celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist and the summer solstice, lighting up huge bonfires as the sun sets on the horizon. Few sights are as spectacular - expect a feast for the eyes, ears, and stomach!


On the hunt for more things to do in the Norwegian summer? Look no further than Bergenfest, a music festival that showcases the very best of Norwegian and international music. Held over two weeks in May and June, you can take in a diverse range of live performances, including music, theater, dance, and visual arts.

If that wasn’t enticing enough, it’s set at Bergenhus Fortress, a medieval castle that is located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed district of Bryggen in Norway. You’ll get to immerse yourself in the artistic culture of Norway, while enjoying the majesty of your surroundings!


St. Olav’s Day

Norway has a fascinating medieval past, and the St. Olav Festival in Trondheim is a great way to experience it in person. Occurring on July 29th, the annual festival is a tribute to Norway’s patron saint, St. Olav, who played a key role in defining Norway’s rich Christian culture.

But even if you don’t have a passion for medieval history, the grand processions, theater performances, and extravagant costumes are well worth seeing!

Northern Lights Festival

Witnessing the majestic Northern Lights is an incredible event in its own right. But once you combine that with classical Norwegian music, the experience is even more spectacular.

Held from January 26th to February 2nd, the Northern Lights Festival features live outdoor performances from renowned musicians which hopefully beckons the aurora borealis into making an appearance or two at the same time.

A gingerbread house on show at the buffet on board Hurtigruten at Christmas

Magical Christmas

Christmastime in Norway is pure magic. Open fires, snowy landscapes, foods that warm the soul, distinctive traditions: it has all the ingredients for a fairy-tale Christmas.

Santa Lucia

Christmas isn’t the only highlight when visiting Norway in winter. On December 13th, you’ll also get to be a part of the Santa Lucia celebrations, which engulf the Scandinavian countries in a flurry of bright lights and festivities. Named after Christian martyr Saint Lucia, the premise of the festival is to bring a source of light and hope at the darkest time of the year.

School children put on white clothing and sing traditional songs, led by one chosen girl who gets to represent Lucia. But while Santa Lucia is mainly directed at children and families, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the catchy music and tasty treats - the saffron buns are a particular highlight!

Arctic Cathedral and Tromso Bridge

Discover Norway with those who know it best

The prospect of experiencing the wild beauty of Norway may be what pulls you in, but there are loads of reasons why Norway should be on your travel bucket list. With a Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyage, you can lose yourself in the unique charms and fascinating stories of Norwegian culture.