Olsok, the eve of St. Olaf’s Day, is the Norwegian name for 29 July. This is traditionally the date of the death of King Olaf II Haraldsson in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. Olaf was canonised and is one of very few Norwegian saints, remembered as the Eternal King of Norway. Every year since 1954 there have been an outdoor play at the site were the king was killed. The holy king Christianized Norway. His death was the breakthrough for both the state and the church in Norway. One thousand years ago. Some of this story is disputed, but it is still fascinating, also the play.
The actor Henrik Mestad as King Olaf II (Olav den hellige).
The play is showing this dramatic history, and transition from the pagan agrarian society in the Viking Age. Our state, church and the monarchy has its roots in Stiklestad, north of the old city of Nidaros (Trondheim). I saw the play some years ago. This year it was played in the middle of the night for the first time, starting at eleven, and with with a very dynamic use of light. With horses, dance, professional singers, a very good orchestra and actors, and hundreds of volunteers. These pictures are from the rehearsal before the weekend, and there are more photos in my Stiklestad photo gallery.
The sun-dance (solleiken), danced before the peole of Norway became Christians