Holiday shoppers defied Corona

There are few signs that the Corona crisis put a freeze on holiday shopping, with sales brisk at most retail stores and soaring at online retailers. Officials at Norway’s largest bank, DNB, see “nothing that suggests a crisis” within the retail sector as a whole. “We’re seeing a strong increase despite the pandemic,” Ine Oftedahl, […]

New Year speeches help unify, console

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s monarch isn’t the only one holding a traditional New Year speech aimed at boosting national pride and unity. The prime minister and president of the Sami Parliament do so as well, and this year their addresses were more important than ever. King Harald V has already won kudos for his direct and […]

King offers hope and some consolation

It was probably one of the most direct and news-related royal holiday addresses ever: King Harald V used his annual speech to the nation on New Year’s Eve to console and support Norwegians after the country’s worst year since the Nazi German occupation during World War II. The monarch wasted no time in addressing the […]

Holiday sunshine before ‘jul deluge’

PHOTO FEATURE: Frosty weather and low December sunshine splashed briefly over southern Norway on the Christmas Day holiday, before being washed away by heavy wet snow that turned into more pouring rain. The sunny interlude prompted some brave souls to jump into the Oslo Fjord for a brisk “julevasken” (Christmas bathing). The first sunshine in […]

‘God jul’ holiday wishes from Oslo

There’s no snow in Norway’s capital as the Christmas holidays set in, just another example of how nothing seems to be like it should be this year. Lots of traditions, from large family gatherings to concerts and even Christmas Eve church services, have to be cast aside because of the Corona pandemic, and downtown Oslo […]

Stricter rules loom as infection rises

Norwegians were heading into the Christmas holidays with rising uncertainty, as state and local officials warned of more social restrictions to combat another rise in infection levels. A ban on flights from the UK, meanwhile, was extended. Few people probably need a Christmas break more than Health Minister Bent Høie and other state health authorities, who’ve […]

Norway braces for a very different ‘jul’

Christmas trees are in place, there are more holiday lights than ever and Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s government is easing some restrictions on social gatherings. The holiday season known as “jul” in Norway won’t be the same, however, with warnings still in place against all large, traditional dinners, parties and travel. “We want everyone to […]

Christmas tree on its way to London

Oslo’s mayor and the British ambassador to Norway ceremoniously helped chop down a large Norwegian spruce tree on the outskirts of the capital this week, proving that at least some traditions are intact even during the Corona crisis. The tree, an annual gift from Oslo to the people of London during the Christmas holidays, is […]

Norwegians hit the road

Instead of flying off on their summer holidays this year, nearly 80 percent of all Norwegians will be driving around Norway instead. A new survey tracking Corona virus effects said many will also be staying home or heading for their hytter (holiday cabins). More than 1,000 Norwegians polled by research firm Opinion indicate they won’t […]

Holiday restrictions spur ‘boat bonanza’

Another sign of Norway’s fundamentally stong economy has sailed into local headlines lately: Norwegians are buying boats like never before. Sales of both new and used boats are showing huge increases, and prices are rising. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 33 years in the boat business,” Anders Topland at Grimstad Bådsenter on […]