Public Holidays in Norway 2024

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Planning a trip, a hike, or simply a relaxing day at home? Find out when the next public holidays are in Norway with our handy guide, updated every year.

On top of the generous vacation allowance built into most employment contracts, residents of Norway also enjoy a number of free days throughout the year.

Norwegians on a public holiday

Norway's approach to public holidays

Many of these days—bank holidays as the Brits call them, helligdager as the Norwegians say—are in place for historical religious reasons, or to mark important days in Norway's history.

If you are visiting Norway on one of these days, you can expect the vast majority of shops and many restaurants and other services to be closed.

In some countries including the UK, public holidays fall on a Monday regardless of the actual date in question. In Norway, public holidays (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.

Norwegian public holidays

But it can also mean that we enjoy fewer days off work in some years than others. Here’s what public holidays you can expect in 2024.

New Year's Day

Monday 1 January, 2024: A public holiday in all countries that observe the Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel. Norwegians tend to celebrate the evening before in a somewhat more subdued fashion than in other countries.

Fireworks are common as the new year arrives, but gatherings tend to be small family-focused affairs. On New Year's Day itself, Norwegians will most likely head to the hills for a hike.


Thursday 28 March – Monday 1 April, 2024: Because of religious traditions, Norway grants three public holidays for the Easter celebrations. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Monday are known in Norwegian as skjærtorsdag, langfredag and andre påskedag respectively.

Unlike many other vacation days in Norway, these days always fall on the Thursday, Friday and Monday, guaranteeing a long weekend.

God Påske - Happy Easter
God Påske ca 1947 by National Library of Norway

Many locals take one of the adjacent weeks as holiday. The reason? It creates a week-long holiday at the cost of only a few vacation days. In some offices, taking the week before the Easter weekend off is essentially mandatory.

Labour Day

Wednesday 1 May, 2024: May Day or International Workers Day is observed in around 80 countries around the world and marks the achievements of the organised labour movement.

In Norway, parades organised by labour unions are a common sight in the major towns. They're not hard to miss, just keep an eye out for the red flags.

In contrast to the purpose of the day, if the 1st of May falls on a weekend, many Norwegians don't get a different day off! Unfortunately that was the case in 2022 as Labour Day fell on a Sunday. The good news is that Labour Day in 2024 is a weekday.

Ascension Day

Thursday 9 May, 2024: Known in Norwegian as Kristi himmelfartsdag, Ascension Day commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Because of this, the date varies wildly from year to year. Sometimes it falls before Norway’s Constitution Day, and sometimes after. In 2024, it will be before.

Although the actual date varies each year, it always falls on a Thursday. Some companies offer their employees the Friday off for free. Others encourage their staff to take the Friday as a vacation day.

Constitution Day

Friday 17 May, 2024: Without doubt this is the biggest celebration of the year. Norway's national day starts with children's parades in every community. Typically, this is followed by a parade of community groups, live music and other fun activities.

Norwegians celebrate their National Day on 17th May
The 17th May parade

As a foreigner your first syttende mai will surely be a memorable experience. As this year’s celebration falls on a Friday, this guarantees the biggest party in years!

Pinse (Whit Monday / Pentecost)

Monday 20 May, 2024: Also known as Pentecost, Whit Monday is observed ten days after Ascension Day and therefore always falls on a Monday.

The day commemorates the christian belief in the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames to the Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament. In Norway, the holiday is known as pinse.

As a bonus this year, pinse falls on the Monday after the Norwegian Constitution Day. This gives many employees an automatic four-day weekend. Hurrah!

Christmas Day

Wednesday 25 December, 2024: Juledag is a public holiday in Norway despite the main family celebrations taking place on Christmas Eve. Although not technically a public holiday, Christmas Eve sees few people at work, with the main family meal taking place in the evening.

Vågån Church is known locally as Lofoten Cathedral and is the largest wooden church in northern Norway
Many Norwegian public holidays are based on the Christian faith.

The main festive meal varies by region, with common dishes including lutefisk, pinekjøtt, and baked cod. Read more here about Christmas in Norway.

St. Stephen's Day

Thursday 26 December, 2024: Andre juledag is a much-needed day of relaxation after the indulgence of the Christmas festivities.

Much like Easter (and let's face it, pretty much any day of the year!), Norwegians use the day as a reason to get out into the forests and mountains, despite the cold.

Public Holidays in 2025

So, that's 2022 done and dusted! To help with your advance planning, let's go forward in time yet further…

  • New Year's Day: 1 January
  • Easter: 17-21 April
  • Labour Day: 1 May
  • Constitution Day: 17 May
  • Ascension Day: 29 May
  • Pinse: 9 June
  • Christmas Day: 25 December
  • St. Stephen's Day: 26 December

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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5 thoughts on “Public Holidays in Norway 2024”

  1. There is one more day, but this one doesn’t have a specific date, it’s called Gro-dagen. It’s origine is from when we had a prime minister called Gro Harlem Brundtland, she would tolerate any one day off during each calendar year. I haven’t lived in Norway since the early seventies, so I’m not certain of which year this started, nor if it is still practiced.


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