It would seem that Halloween is a new celebration in Norway since trick-or-treating has only become popular in the last ten years. However, this holiday has a long tradition in Norway that started in medieval times. In the 10th century A.D. the Catholic Church had become established among the pagan Norsemen under the iron fist of St. Olav. The Church celebrated All Hallows Day, now also known as All Saints’ Day, on the 1st of November every year. Traditionally, All Hallows Day started at sunset the day before, which was called All Hallows Even (Hallow E’en or Halloween). The holiday was adopted by the Protestant Church after the reformation in the 16th century, but was altered to be a commemoration of the dead.
Today, All Saints Day is marked on the calendar, but is not widely celebrated as a religious occasion. However, the day has instilled a tradition with Norwegians to visit and tend the graves of their loved ones with lanterns and flowers – be it on All Saints or any other day of the year.