Norwegians are independent people focused on being outdoors. In summer, they go to the mountains and lakes on weekends, to take advantage of the excellent hiking conditions, fishing and boating. In winter, they practice downhill and cross-country skiing on the slopes and in the forests. Thanks to the old habit, zwanemu Allemansretten, that is, "universal right of every human being” all have guaranteed access to the wilderness. Signs "No passage” or "No entry” are virtually unknown here.
One of the most visible elements of traditional Norwegian culture is bunad, decorative regional folk costume. Each district has its own, unique folk costume, decorated in various colors and distinguished by original features. In the traditions of Hallingdal regions, Hordaland, Setesdal and parts of Telemark national costumes were worn until the post-war times; nowadays, they are put mainly on wedding ceremonies and during various holidays.
Once traditional, intricate embroidery on these beautiful costumes was performed by shepherds and milking machines while guarding the herds. Currently, folk costumes are made only in the hands of important seamstresses and embroiderers, and because modern people do not have much free time, buying a national costume is a serious expense. The folklore museum on Bygdoy Island in Oslo presents a collection of beautiful costumes. It is best to admire them live during the celebration of the national holiday 17 May in Oslo. Men and women from all over the country come to the capital wearing national costumes, characteristic of their native regions.
Traditional folk dances and songs are experiencing a period of revival recently. Concerts and shows are held at numerous annual music festivals. Circle dances, such as a roundabout, Polish, polkas and mazurkas, lost their popularity in the 18th century. They were returned to them again after independence was regained in 1905 r., when the country was looking for a clear national identity. Nowadays, there are groups of folk dancers all over Norway, play rings, who compete with each other in dance competitions, kappleiker, attracting a large audience. During such ceremonies, bands composed of musicians using traditional instruments are playing more and more often. These include the Hardanger violin, with unusual sound, fitted with four or five strings stretched below the normal four.
Another tradition with centuries of history is storytelling and the figure of a troll appearing in them, dominant in Norwegian folklore. Though outside of Norway, trolls are known to be vexatious characters, stupid and malicious, in Norway they were the subject of lovable fairy tales, told according to custom by the fireplace, which once helped to wait through the dark winter nights. These rather "asocial."” creatures usually populate mountain regions. Some of them are friendly, but most are hideous creatures with a beauty that challenges plastic surgery, freaks, who live under houses and stables. They were often accused of causing trouble on the villagers. Trolls "live” in the names of various places in Norway and in numerous folk tales, carved figures of these figures can often be seen along the roads, and buy cheap mascot trolls in souvenir shops.