St. Olav Festival 2007
Trondheim Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
St. Olav Festival is a church and cultur festival. The Norwegian word for this event, Olsok, comes from the Norse, Olafsvaka. It is celebrated on 29 July to commemorate St. Olaf`s death in 1030. In his youth he was a Viking, but converted to Christianity and was baptised. Olav was proclaimed king in 1015. He tried to unit the country and introduce Christianity, often using brutal methodes. As a result he made many enemies and eventually had to flee to Russia in 1028. In 1030 he attempted to regain power, but was killed at the Battle of Stiklestad on the 29th of July 1030.
His body was secretly buried in Nidaros (old name for Trondheim), reputedly on the spot where Nidaros Cathedral`s high alter stands today.
Many pilgrims visited St. Olav`s shrine during the Middle Ages, esecially around the time of St. Olav`s Wake on the 29th of July when the shrine was carried through Nidaros in a grand procession. Olav is Norway`s patron saint and eternal king - Rex perpetuus Norvegiae.
The pilgrims arrives Nidaros (Trondheim) by foot. On the Westfront of Nidaros Cathedral the pilgrim`s saint is represented. The Apostle St. James the Greather, pilgrims clothing with a staff, hat, bag and schallop shell.
In the Middle Ages, up until the Reformation, great numbers of pilgrims flooded to Nidaros on 29th of July in search of healing and betterment. Olsok, culminates on 28-29 July with St. Olavs Wake. In the Middle Ages it was common to begin important festivals with a virgil. Every Olsok is celebrated with St. Olav`s Wake, prayers, pilgrimages, pilgrim services and services in Nidaros Cathedral and other churces in Trondheim. In addition to that Trondheim presents different kind of concerts, exhibitions, an historical fair and lots of arrangements for children.
The celebration starts with a procession through the centre of Trondheim that ends up at the Archbishop`s Palace Complex.
National and international musicians gives concerts all over Trondheim during the Festival. Concerts are given in churches, cafees, pubs, concert halls and outdoor. Here you can find concerts for every tast. This year Sinead O`Connor gives her only concert in Norway in the festival. The concert prices are average, so you do not ruin yourself by going to 4 or 5. I have planned to visit 6. Some of the concerts starts at 4 em, other at 10 em. You can have two at the same day if you want. And the best of all, there is atleast one free concert each day.