Påskestradisjoner just means “Easter Traditions”. Even when the same holidays are celebrated in different cultures there are often little, interesting differences. Easter has its roots as a spring festival and from Christianity with the resurrection of Jesus so there are many similarities between Norway and the United States but there are also differences. We do live in a very connected world and traditions tend to spread whether that be organically or due to corporate marketing. One tradition that is somewhat unique to Norway is påskekrim (Easter Crime). In contrast, the Easter Bunny is not very common in Norway; at least not yet.
Påskekrim (Easter Crime)
It wouldn’t be an Easter holiday in Norway without the tradition of reading gripping crime novels. This unusual combination dates back to 1923, when publisher Gyldendal pulled a media stunt to boost spring book sales. The ploy worked and a national ritual was born.
Many Norwegians head to the hytte (cabin) over Easter break and their laid-back vacation days pair well reading by the fire. Each spring, various publishers release special collections of novellas called Påskekrim along with many full-length novels. Other media channels have followed suit, producing crime radio plays, TV shows, films, and podcasts.
Norwegian Arts has an article, Påskekrim: Norway’s Mysterious Easter Custom, which goes into more depth on this tradition.
Milk Carton Mysteries
Since 1997, TINE dairy cooperative has printed family-friendly whodunit comics on their milk cartons for Norwegians to solve over breakfast during Easter break. Private detective Ulf Ulvheim (en ulv – a wolf, naturally) has been a recurring character in the Easter-related detective strips (see cover image). Famous crime writers such as Jo Nesbø, Anne Holt, Gunnar Staalesen, and others have authored the storylines. As of 2021, the milk mysteries went digital, to the consternation of many citizens.
I don’t know if TINE has brought back the milk carton comics. If Påskenøttene som forsvant is current then it implies they have but that they’re also posting the digital comic: “Har du ikke lest påskekrimmen på melkekartongen enda? Da kan du lese den her” translates to “Haven’t read the Easter Crime on the milk carton yet? You can read it here”.
It also looks like private detective Ulf Ulvheim may have been replaced by a rabbit and chicks which may be a sign of the growing popularity of the Easter Bunny in Norway.
Norwegian Lesson: Påskestradisjoner
A YouTube channel I enjoy, Norwegian Teacher - Karin has a language lesson video on Easter traditions. Because it’s meant to be a language lesson she tends to speak clearly/simply. You can turn on auto-translated English captions if you want to try to learn a few words. Regardless, you’ll probably enjoy this brief video highlighting some of their family Easter traditions.
Påskeoppskrifter (Easter Recipes)
If you come across a recipe in Norwegian you can translate the webpage with Google Translate; for example, Kvikklunsjkake.
Like modern chefs do powdered ingredients are often measured by mass/weight instead of volume so the
g is grams and you’ll need a food scale.
dl is deciliter which is 1/10 of a liter which is a bit less than 3.5 fl. oz and 2.5 dl is a bit more than one cup.
180º C is about 350º F.
Just use Siri, Alexa, or Google to do unit conversion and round appropriately.
Sometimes ingredients are used that are not as common in the US but you can search online for alternatives. Adapt, be creative, and have fun!
TINE has a bunch of Easter recipes on their God Påske page. You could also search for påskemat (Easter food) or påskeoppskrifter (Easter recipes) to find more.
If you make something, please take a picture and share with the lodge!
Life in Norway has a page on Easter Traditions in Norway. By the way, Life in Norway also has a nice podcast and YouTube channel.
Påskekrim milk carton comic photo by Ole Martin Buene/Tine via nationen.no.
Some copy provided by the Sons of Norway newsletter service.