Posted by: Sarah | August 1, 2012

29th July – The Day Of St Olaf


I’m a little late with this post but on Sunday I discovered it was St Olaf’s day in Norway – a day when Norwegian Christians celebrate the life of Olaf II Haraldsson (995 – 29 July 1030) also known as Norway’s Eternal King or Patron Saint of Norway.

Olaf was the king of Norway from 1015 to 1028 and was known most famously for introducing (some say forcefully) the country to Christianity.  One year after Olaf died he was canonised a saint and enshrined in Trondheim Cathedral.   This canonisation was later confirmed by Pope Alexander III making him recognised as a saint of the Catholic Church.

Some say that the sainthood pretty much confirmed Christianity as the official faith of Norway and since the 900th anniversary of his death (29th July 1930) Norway declared the date an official flag day.   If you live in the Faroe Islands you get the day off work – they celebrate it with boat races, concerts and a procession of school children!

Finally, if you fancy a very long walk, you can take the pilgrimage route  called Saint Olav’s Way.  It’s 640km and starts from ancient parts of Oslo and goes all the way north to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.  There is a Pilgrim’s Office in Oslo which can give you advice and directions .  There’s another Pilgrim Centre in Trondheim which awards certificates to successful Pilgrims upon the completion of their journey.

But, don’t expect to be in the company of St. Olaf in Trondheim.  His remains were moved to St. Olav’s Cathedral in Oslo.

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Responses

  1. I have walked 3 or 4 small parts of the trail – it is so beautiful. Thank you for this blog.

    • Wow – that’s amazing! I never expected to meet (albeit virtually) someone who took on the challenge. I bet it’s lovely – the nature is so wonderful in between Oslo and Trondheim

  2. amazing blog!
    thank you for posting.
    we going to Oslo at beginning of September, I am very excited!

    • Oh thank you – glad you like it! Enjoy your visit. September is lovely in Norway…colours starting to turn but still nice and warm (if you’re lucky) :-)


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