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What to expect on Valentine's Day in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
What to expect on Valentine's Day in Norway
In this article, we will go over some of the key aspects of Valentine's Day celebrations in Norway, including a short list of useful phrases that you might want to memorise if you're trying to impress a significant other in Norway. Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Traditionally, Norway isn't big on Valentine's Day. However, February 14th is becoming "more of a thing" among younger generations.

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Valentine's Day is not a big deal in Norway, at least when you compare the celebration with other European countries.

Called Valentinsdagen or Alle Hjerters Dag (All Hearts Day), Valentine's Day is usually a low-key celebration in Norway.

The commercialised tradition of celebrating love and romance with special gifts and experiences started to only catch on in recent decades – some would say the change is taking place due to the strong cultural influence that American culture has on the Scandinavian country (as is also the case with Halloween).

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Valentine's Day in Norway: A toned-down celebration

While most European countries have a long tradition of celebrating Valentine's Day, the custom has just recently started to take off in Norway.

If you ask most 50 or 60-year-old Norwegians, they'll tell you that the Day wasn't celebrated in any flashy way while they were growing up.

And then they'll likely point to American movies and TV shows as the primary catalyst to the day's increasing popularity among young people in Norway.

Things have changed since the 1990s, and younger generations of Norwegians have come to give more significance to February 14th – and experts believe there is also a growing expectation of receiving gifts among younger age groups.

While the level of pomp might not be high compared to the US or some European countries, some Norwegians are enjoying the additional excuse to spend more time with their partners and show their romantic side.

Common Valentine's Day gestures in Norway

As more and more people play along with a more commercialised reading of Valentine's Day, expect couples in Norway to show their love by buying flowers, sweets (chocolate is the gift of choice) or perfumes, as well as exchange personal cards.

Paper cards have a special place in the celebration, and some Norwegians create custom cards (often in the shape of hearts) to show their affection.

Furthermore, romantic dinners and dates are also becoming more frequent, and you'll likely have a hard time finding a table for two in popular restaurants around February 14th.

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Most stores will try to make a profit from the celebration's growing popularity, which means you'll have many gift options at your disposal for sweets, flowers, and similar presents.

However, expect shops to also significantly increase their prices on (and close to) Valentine's Day – shops selling flowers are notorious for driving up the cost of roses on February 14th, so make sure to have your gift prepared at least a day in advance.

What to say on Valentine's Day

If you're thinking of ways to express your feelings to your significant (Norwegian) other in Norwegian, we've got you covered. Here are a few phrases that will surely hit the mark:

Jeg elsker deg så mye (English: I love you so much)

Du er så vakker (English: You're so beautiful)

Du betyr alt for meg (English: You mean everything to me)

Jeg er forelsket i deg (English: I have a crush on you)

Vil du være min Valentin? (English: Will you be my Valentine?)

Vi var ment til å være sammen (English: We were meant to be together).

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What to do if you're single on Valentine's Day in Norway?

People who are single on February 14th are not left to their own devices.

There is a vibrant culture of gathering with other single friends on Valentine's and going out together.

Bars, pubs, and clubs tend to host events for singles in the run-up to Valentine's Day, and it is becoming increasingly popular for people who aren't in a relationship to go to such events – and maybe hook up or - who knows? - even find love.

Many also arrange get togethers with their friends dubbed "palentines" 

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