The recent Halloween holiday that’s so popular in the US was all but unknown in Norway as late as the 1990s. Now it’s become big business for local retailers, with Norwegians collectively spending as much as NOK 260 million on it, according to the national retailers’ association Virke.
“It’s been served to us on a silver platter from American films, and both children and retail stores have latched on to it,” Bror W Stende of Virke told news bureau NTB. He said that according to Virke’s statistics, parents of children aged four to 15 years now spend an average NOK 300 (USD 46) on costumes, sweets and decorations.
“Some families spend more, while others less or nothing,” Stende said. “But it’s become much more difficult for families with small children to ignore the holiday altogether.”
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) featured several reports on Halloween over the weekend, including elaborate decorations and celebrations in neighbourhoods in Stavanger. The West Coast city has long had a large concentration of Americans working in the oil industry who have brought their own holiday traditions with them to Norway.