Hodgepodge

Celebrating Valentinsdagen in Norway

[dropcap]Norwegians refer to February 14 as Valentinsdagen (Valentine’s Day) — or Alle Hjerters Dag (All Hearts Day). By either name, it’s a celebration of love, affection and romance, with cards, candies and flowers. Unique to Norwegians, however, is the great emphasis they place on shared experiences versus Valentine’s gifts.[/dropcap]

At any time of year, Norwegians highly prize time spent together with loved ones. When combining this tendency with the holiday’s theme and Norway’s exceptional beauty, it’s not difficult to spark or rekindle romance while simply experiencing the landscape itself with that special someone. For Norwegian locals and tourists alike, Valentinsdagen is often a day dedicated to enjoying the company of a romantic partner to share the experience of the spectacular, natural beauty of Norway’s multitudinous and breathtaking mountains, forests, waterfalls, glaciers, fjords, lakes and coastlines. This is what so often makes Alle Hjerters Dag a day to remember.

Sports like skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling make exciting use of the local climate and landscape and showcase Norway’s wild splendor, but it’s not always snowing! Hiking, picnics, ice-skating—even surfing and outdoor cooking at sunset—are all popular and potentially romantic local traditions. If you’re not afraid of frigid temperatures and find underwater exploration romantic, adventurous, SCUBA-loving mermen and mermaids from around the world are drawn to Norway for this intimate buddy sport. Norwegian fjords, salt streams, shipwrecks and more make for wet and memorable adventures with someone special. If you’re less inclined to dip beneath the waves and happen to find yourself in Norway on Valentinsdagen, consider a hike in the hills over Oslo with the one you adore. Bring along a local delicacy like farikal, a hearty mutton & cabbage stew.

Valentinsdagen is also associated with the coming spring season. Watching wildlife for romantic signs of renewal—particularly mating birds—is a popular activity on Alle Hjerters Dag. Everyone has unfettered, free access to roam the spectacular landscapes of Norway, from the average countryside to the national parks. You can bet they’ll be wearing warm clothing made from local wool and focusing on “kos,” which means having a good time. In Norway, every day is a good day to celebrate the great outdoors, and Valentinsdagen—especially when infused with a little extra romance—is no exception.