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Norway bank holidays 2016 and 2017 - official holidays and red-letter days

Since Norway is a Christian country, it shares many religious holidays with countries like Denmark, Sweden, Germany and England.

Norway has 13 official closing days per year.

Official holidays in Norway 2016/2017

2016

Name

2017

1st of January (Friday)

New Year’s Day

1st of January (Sunday)

20th of March (Sunday)

Palm Sunday

9th of April (Sunday)

24th of March (Thursday)

Maundy Thursday

13th of April (Thursday)

25th of March (Friday)

Good Friday

14th of April (Friday)

27th of March (Sunday)

Easter Sunday

16th of April (Sunday)

28th of March (Monday)

Easter Monday

17th of April (Monday)

1st of May (Sunday)

Labour Day

1st of May (Monday)

17th of May (Tuesday)

Constitution Day

17th of May (Wednesday)

05th of May (Thursday)

Ascension Day

25th of May (Thursday)

15th of May (Sunday)

Whit Sunday

4th of June (Sunday)

16th of May (Monday)

Whit Monday

5th of June (Monday)

25th of December (Sunday)

Christmas Day

25th of December (Monday)

26th of December (Monday)

Boxing Day

26th of December (Tuesday)

Banks, institutions, offices and large shops are closed on holidays.

Most stores in Norway are allowed to stay open at any time they wish - except Sundays. Only grocery stores and kiosks smaller than 100 square metres are allowed to be open on Sundays. The opening hours in Norwegian supermarkets are typically from 7h-8h in the morning until 9h-11h in the evening - from Monday to Saturday.

Official holidays in Norway (bank holidays) are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Christmas day
  • Boxing day

Red-letter days in Norway - Labour Day and Constitution Day
Norway has marked 1st of May and 17th of May in their calendar to celebrate Labour Day and Constitution Day respectively. These days are, however, not considered public holidays in Norway. Instead the two days are considered red-letter days.

A red-letter day marks a day of special significance. Shops are not obligated to shut down on a red-letter day, unless the red-letter day is also an official holiday. An example of a red-letter day, which is not a national holiday, could e.g. be the birthday of a royalty.

Labour Day - 1st of May
Starting in the year of 1974, May 1st has been an official red-letter day/bank holiday in Norway. Not only is the May Day the fighting day of the international working class, but it is also a day of celebration for the graduating students. Before 1974 the traditional political parades were organised on the first Saturday after the May 1st, if it originally was to fall on a weekday.

Constitution Day - 17th of May
The Norwegian Constitution Day is a bank holiday, which always falls on May 17th. The day is a red-letter day and especially the children dominate the day - pupils are festively dressed and they participate in a parade at the palace square in Oslo in front of a waving royal family. On this day adults dress in the traditional Bunad - a costume much like the Norwegian national costume.

Religious festivals in Norway 2016/2017
Besides the above mentioned holidays and closing days, Norway also has other special days categorised as religious festivals.

Shrovetide Sunday
The Shrovetide traditions in Norway can be compared to Halloween celebrations, however, the children do not go trick-or-treating, but make do with dressing up.

Shrovetide Sunday in Norway falls on the 7th of February 2016 and February 26th in 2017.

Feast of the Annunciation in Norway
Traditionally this day is a very important occasion in the Catholic tradition

It celebrates the visit of Gabriel the Archangel to Virgin Mary to announce she would carry and give birth to the son of God.

The holiday is not celebrated on a fixed date, but always on a Sunday between the 22nd and 28th of March (unless Palm or Easter Sunday fall in this period).

In 2016 the Annunciation is it celebrated on the 13th of March, and in 2017 it falls on March 26th.

Day of Prayer and Penance
Day of prayer and penance in Norway is always celebrated the last Sunday in October.

Royal regulation of March 27th 1686 fixed this holiday by law on the fourth Friday after Easter. Norway changed the date for the first time in 1915 and yet again in 1950, where it was decided to place the holiday on the last Sunday of October, which is also the last Sunday before All Saints Day.

Day of Prayer and Penance 2016: 30th of October
Day of Prayer and Penance 2017: 29th of October

All Saints Day Norway
All Saints Day was abolished as a work-free day in Norway in connection to the reduction of holidays in 1770. Simultaneously the holiday was moved to the first Sunday of November. All Saints Day in 2016 falls on the 6th of November, and in 2017 on the 5th of November. 


Norway bank holidays 2016 and 2017 - official holidays and red-letter days
Article: Norway bank holidays 2016 and 2017 - official holidays and red-letter days
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Published: Tuesday, October 20 2015
Latest revision: Friday, October 30 2015

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