Skoklefallsdagen | the last day of spring | Norway

On the historical Norwegian farm, the skoklefallsday is the last day of planting in the spring. Literally, it means the day that the shafts attached to the workhorse's harness come off.
LA Dahlmann | talk NORWAY
Preparing the field in the spring. Krokstad, Ski, Akershus, Norway in 1938. | Photo: Anders Beer Wilse - Norsk Folkemuseum DeOldify cc pdm.
Preparing the field in the spring. Krokstad, Ski, Akershus, Norway in 1938. | Photo: Anders Beer Wilse - Norsk Folkemuseum DeOldify cc pdm.

Pronunciation

Skoklefallsdagen

No sowing after this day

Skoklefallsdagen was the day in the spring that the farmers had to have all the cultivated land prepared and the planting done. There could be no sowing of grain after this day, as the rest of the summer and the early autumn would not be a long-enough-period for it to fully ripen and mature.

3 June – or earlier

In the south-eastern part of Norway, the skoklefallsday fell on 3 June. But on the south-western coast and in the south, where the climate is milder, the day could come earlier.

Celebrated by eating porridge

To mark that the seeds were in the ground, people celebrated by eating an extra rich porridge, sågraut or skakkelgraut. The cook had to add plenty of sour cream, or risk a poor harvest in the autumn. The eating of porridge at important milestones throughout the year is a custom that stretches far back in Norwegian history, and is connected to symbolic offerings to the gods.

Fourteen weeks in all

About the grain and its growth it was said: 7 weeks to grow – and 7 weeks for the seeds to ripen and mature. That makes 14 weeks from when the seeds were taken from the hemp sack in the spring and planted in the soil, until this year’s crop was ready to be cut and stored in the autumn.

Saint Elmo

In the old Norwegian calendar, 3 June was also the feast of the Christian saint and martyr Erasmus of Formia, also known as Saint Elmo. He is the patron saint of sailors, and was also called upon in connection with difficult births.

A good day to get married

The skoklefallsday was said to be a good day to get married. Rain landing on the bride’s head meant prosperity. Rough weather, on the other hand, meant that it would be a difficult marriage. And if the wedding procession met a snake or a grumpy old woman on their way, the bride and groom would surely have a venomous union.

Main source: Kari Gården Strømsborg.

Our most recent posts

My Norwegian heritage

When humankind first appeared in the Norwegian landscape – sometime after the last ice age – the search for food was their primary motivation.
The first half of the 1900s came with a momentous change to Norwegian society. The old ways of the ancient hunting and farming culture were rapidly dying.
Klippfisk - or klipfish - is fish preserved through salting and drying. Since the early 1700s, the Norwegians have been large-scale klippfisk producers and exporters.
The Norwegian farm horse was a reliable and powerful companion. But by the late 1960s, they were almost all gone. Enjoy this video-collection of wonderful vintage photographs.
The word ski comes from the Old Norse language, with the meaning cleft wood. The old Norwegians were master hunters, and have been skiing for over 5000 years.
Like all buildings on the old Norwegian farm, the stabbur had a clear purpose: it was a building designed for the storage of food.
Are you looking for a Norwegian-to-English dictionary that includes old-fashioned words and dialect words? Then Einar Haugen’s book is your best pick.
In 1836, milkmaid Kari Moen from the community of Sauherad in Telemark, Norway, was attacked by a bear. She almost lost her life that day.
After the end of World War 2, the Norwegians all took part in lifting their country well and truly into the 20th century.
In this video-collection of historical photos, we reminisce about the dairy cow on the old Norwegian farm. We recommend that you watch with the sound on. Enjoy!
In the coastal districts of the old Norway, a strandsitter was a beach dweller - who rented a small piece of land - but owned the house he built on it. His livelihood was usually connected to the sea.
The first Norwegian Buhund breed-standard came in 1926, based on a dog that had evolved, lived, and worked with the Norwegians since time immemorial.
Carl Fredrik Sundt-Hansen created this fascinating oil painting in 1904. It is like a window leading into the house of history. If only we could climb through.
The hour of twilight is when the daylight starts to disappear – before it is completely dark. In the old Norwegian farming society, this was a time for rest.
Once upon a time in the distant past, imagine yourself sitting in a small boat, facing this mighty gateway into the bowels of the land.
Myrmelk is a Norwegian noun that means milk conserved in a container buried in a mountain peat bog, left there for herders or others to drink at a later stage.
The horse no longer roams wild in the Norwegian landscape. But it still has an important place in the Norwegian psyche.
This beautiful oil painting by Johan Christian Dahl says a lot about generations of Norwegians - and the landscape and the skills they knew.
The first half of the 1900s was a time of enormous change in Norwegian society. It was then that a young boy experienced a peculiar family custom.
With this old photograph in my hand I have set myself a task: how much information can I find in Norwegian online archives based on what the photo tells me?
When the industrial revolution brought machinery to the Norwegian farms, it didn't just change the old working methods, it also changed the layout and look of the farmland.

Follow us on social media

Norwegian history