Working With Norwegians

Ascension Day in Norway Explained

In Norway, Ascension Day is the celebration of the Nordic god Odin ascending from deep within a fjord and going up the mountain to his cabin for a nice long weekend. There, and behind the cold walls of this cabin, he lights a fire and waits approximately 9 hours for the cabin to reach a level that one can describe as not totally freezing. He enjoys a great feast on this day. Which by Norwegian standards consists of several cold sandwiches, some type of goo packaged in a tube oh and of course some brown cheese.

As it turns out even the Nordic gods can’t afford a decent meal here in expensive Norway. Content with his meal and his cabin on the mountain he enjoys sitting there, quietly and with himself. Before he calls it a night he makes his way outside to the bathroom. A humble shack and a hole in the ground to do his business. As he sits upon this throne, he says to himself, “Yes, this truly is heaven!”.

Not the story you’re familiar with?

I tried asking a few Norwegians about the meaning of today but was unable to get a straight answer. You see Norway is not a very religious country, so no one really knew the real reason for the day off.

Of course, they still don’t mind taking vacation on pretty much every religious holiday. It’s just part of the heavy focus on work/life balance you find here in Norway. Enjoy the day off!

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