Sure, it's still December, but it can pay off to plan your holidays now. Photo: Galyna Andrushko/Iris
If you're working in Norway, take note that you're already one of the luckiest employees on the planet when it comes to annual leave, before you even factor public holidays into the equation.
By law, firms have to give full-time staff 25 days off, with many offering even more generous policies. You usually have the right to take three consecutive weeks off in the main holiday period of June through September, and can take the remainder either in one consecutive stretch or however you see fit.
But as well as paid vacation days, there are several public holidays each year, often called ‘red days’. Plenty of workers schedule their breaks away around these public holidays in order to get more bang for their holiday buck. However, you don't usually have to.
Norway’s public holidays are bunched up mostly in the early part of the year and so after June, there is only Christmas. However, the period between June and Christmas is when the bulk of those five weeks of vacation are typically used, so it’s not bad at all.
To get the most out of the upcoming year’s holidays, keep these following dates in mind when you make your vacation plans.
Public holidays in Norway in 2017:
New Year's Day falls on a Sunday in 2017, so you miss out on a day off, and unlike neighbouring Sweden, Epiphany on Friday, January 6th is not a holiday in Norway.
Thursday, April 13th – Maundy Thursday (Skjærtorsdag)
Friday, April 14th – Good Friday (Langfredag)
Sunday, April 16th – Easter (påske)
Monday, April 17th – Easter Monday (2. påskedag)
To make the most of this, take Tuesday-Friday April 18th-21st off and get an eleven-day break at the cost of only four vacation days.
Monday, May 1st – International Worker’s Day, or Labour Day, is technically only a holiday for those who work in the public sector but many private employers may also offer it off. Check with your boss to see if you’re one of the lucky ones.
Friday, May 17th – National Day (Grunnlovsdag)
Thursday May 25th – Ascension Day (Kristi hilmmelfartsdag). Taking Friday off is an easy way to get a four-day weekend by cashing in just one day of holiday.
Sunday, June 4th – Whit Sunday (1. pinsedag)
Monday, June 5th – Whit Monday (2. pinsedag)
Monday, December 25th – Christmas Day
Tuesday, December 26th – Boxing Day (2. juledag)
Sunday December 31st – New Year's Eve. Just like Midsummer's Eve and Christmas Eve, this is not technically a public holiday but is often treated as such anyway. In 2017 it falls on a Sunday, so you won't get much out of it.
However, the week between Christmas and New Year's is ideal if you want to use up some of your holiday allowance – just make sure you get there before your Norwegian colleagues do.