The village of Rauland lies in the mountains in the interior of the Telemark County, and is covered by a thick layer of snow during the winter months. To keep warm during this cold period, the people of Rauland anually organize a winter festival, celebrating with folk music and old traditions. This year, from 17 to 21 February, Rauland is the place to be if you’re looking for some authentic Norwegian coziness!
Lying in the mountains far off the shore, the winters in Rauland are cold and snowy. The little town has become an excellend base for travellers wanting to explore the frozen winter landscapes, and get into some real outdoor adventures. The town lies next to the Totak lake and the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, and offers lots of opportunities for hikers and skiers. The town is surrounded by lots of cross-country tracks, and three ski resorts that have the perfect conditions for both skiing and snowboarding. In summer, the spectacular mountaineous landscape is the perfect place for cycling, hiking and fishing.
But the area of Rauland is also a cultural hotspot, as many Norwegians know. It is the heart of a region that’s preserved it’s ancient traditions of music, dancing, handicraft and food. There are six museums in and around Rauland, and Raulandsakademiet HI Hostel is an expert when it comes to courses and workshops that let you taste of the old Norwegian traditions.
The perfect time to come and taste of both the outdoor life and the cultural traditions in Rauland, is during the annual Rauland International Winter Festival. This year, from 17 to 21 February, our hostel hosts the workshops and the many concerts of this festival. What they offer? Textile workshops, leather workshops, courses in different Scandinavian fiddle and dance styles, and a lot more. Both international and Norwegian folk music groups climb the stage.
On Saturday, the traditional Kappleik takes place: A competition where Norwegian musicians and singers show off their skills on the Hardanger fiddle, on the langeleik instrument, they sing or they dance the Halling.
For a crash course in Norwegian traditional culture, this is the place to go. Combined with some hiking or skiing tours, this might just be the most perfect trip for you! Book your stay at the HI Hostel Rauland Akademiet.
article written by Robin Van de Walle
photo top: Randi Hausken