The Heiberg Collection

Holy days and Holidays

Stad Permanent exhibition, located on the main floor of the main building at the Heiberg collections

Church holy days, holidays and feasts offered much needed relief from long and arduous workdays in old society. You only did the most pressing chores. People bathed and put on their dress clothes, and food and drink was a bit more fancy than usual.

Holy days and holidays had both a social and a religious dimension, including elements from Christianity as well as traditional beliefs. Annual holidays and individual life events were celebrated at church, and the church grounds became the most important social meeting point. Well into the 1800s, churches remained the only public buildings in most rural villages.

There used to be a large number of holy days and other special dates. Many were removed as a result of the 1536 Reformation, and even more were abolished in 1770.

However, these dates still lived on in traditional beliefs through weather signs, omens and reminders of work tasks. Throughout the 1800s and 1900s, new secular holidays were introduced.

This exhibition highlights the holy days and annual holidays on the one hand, and life events from cradle to grave on the other. The church section, with objects from the old Sogn churches, has been symbolically placed in-between the two.