There is no complete register of festivals in Norway, but a 2009 study commissioned
by the Norwegian Arts Council estimated the number to be approximately 1,000 festivals, Welcome to Norway
based on a very broad definition and including historical plays and local fairs.
Since there are only just over 5 million of us, this effectively means that there is one festival for every 5,000 inhabitants.
Those numbers considered, there should be something for everyone, regardless of age and area of interest.
Art and music lovers, foodies, performing arts aficionados, traditionalists, heritage lovers, literature lovers…
Norway is the place to go for a cultural experience in 2014.
I am not the only one saying that. Innovation Norway conducted a tourism survey in 2012, Welcome to Norway
where 8 in 10 respondents stated that they wanted a Norwegian holiday combining outdoor activities with cultural events.
And I cannot blame them. Welcome to Norway
Our first major festival, the Aurora Borealis – or, in Norwegian, Nordlysfestivalen – starts in late January.
Who would not want to be in Tromsø then, skiing, Welcome to Norway
watching the lights and spending the evening at a performance by the Bolshoi ballet?
In my book, there is no better mixture of outdoor activity and cultural tourism.
Spring is the time for Norsk Litteraturfestival – Sigrid Undset-dagene in the picturesque Olympic town of Lillehammer.
This is the largest literary festival in Scandinavia, suitable for lovely walks in the mountains combined
with readings and performances by Nobel Prize winners in the evening
John Maxwell Coetzee was there last year. If time permits, extend the visit with a few days in Bergen,
the gateway to our fjords and host city of Norway’s oldest festival,
Festspillene i Bergen. Norway in a nutshell beckons.
In the summer, there are plenty of festivals to choose from.
From the Risør Chamber Music Festival in the south to the 50th anniversary of Festspillene i Nord-Norge up north.
That is just what I would propose off the top of my head – but happy hunting, or planning:
I am certain that you will find a festival to your liking taking place in one of our 18 counties almost every week of the year.
Did I mention that a vast number of free events is organised by most festivals? Velkommen!
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