What is 'konfirmasjon'? (Norway)

It is a coming of age ritual. The origin is churchly, after a period of training in christianity the youth shall confirm, thus konfirmasjon, their baptisement- it symbolises their choosing the christian faith for themselves.

If we speed up to today there's secular acts of konfirmasjon as well as several other churches than the 'standard' lutheran offering similar services and training in their worldview, theology and/or philosophy.

There's quite a lot of youth going through konfifmasjon who, they themself report, just go with the motions because it's tradition and because traditionally it's ended with a giant family party where they're lavished with gifts, embarassing speeches and adlibbed songs.

It's a big day, expect to see people dressed their best, in traditional costumes (esp. women, and traditional dress 'bunad' is often one of the gifts lavished upon the girls). It is, except for the ceremonial parts, very much a grand family affair, often with a few close friends. If you as an outsider get invited to a konfirmasjon consider it an honor.

"Konfirmasjon" (confirmation) is a Christian tradition of confirming ones baptism at the age of 15 (when one is arguably of an appropriate age for deciding whether to continue being Christian or not).

It has grown to become a deeply rooted tradition - even if the religious significance has been shown to be lessening (for instance, it used to be a test of ones religious knowledge, where if failed the youth would have to wait for his/her next chance the year thereafter - this is no longer the case) - where the whole extended family (to the best of their ability) is gathered, usually wearing formal traditional wear (bunad), giving girls their traditional dress, or boys a knife (they usually aren't done growing at 15, so it isn't common for them to get a bunad). Money or other gifts are also given by relatives, neighbours, coworkers of the parents, or other acquaintances.

It starts out in the church, where the youth - wearing white capes - are brought forth one by one, getting a blessing from the priest (the blessing words of their own choosing), before they emerge confirmated and move to the location for the actual family party. At least for my part of the country, each family brings along a minimum of 1 cake (it is a matter of personal pride to have a "brand" of cake they're really good at making), making the total number of desserts result in days of after-gatherings in a vain attempt to get it all eaten.

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