The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies and Banquets

Since 1901, the Nobel Prizes have been presented to the Laureates at ceremonies on 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. As stipulated in the will of the Swedish-born inventor and international industrialist Alfred Nobel, which was opened after his death in 1896, the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway. Since 1969 an additional prize has been awarded at the ceremony in Stockholm, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which was established in 1968 on the occasion of the Riksbank’s 300th anniversary. The Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm has, almost without exception, taken place at the Stockholm Concert Hall (Stockholms Konserthus) since 1926. In Oslo, the ceremony was for many years held at the Nobel Institute. From 1947 till 1990, the setting was the auditorium of the University of Oslo. In 1990 the event moved to the Oslo City Hall.

Stockholm Concert Hall

Inside the Stockholm Concert Hall.
Copyright © The Nobel Foundation
Photo: Boo Jonsson

At the Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, presentation speeches extoll the Laureates and their discovery or work, after which His Majesty the King of Sweden hands each Laureate a diploma and a medal. The Ceremony is followed by a banquet at the Stockholm City Hall (Stockholms Stadshus) for about 1,300 people, including 250 students. With a few exceptions, the Nobel Banquet has taken place at the City Hall since 1930. The Nobel Festivities in Stockholm are arranged by the Nobel Foundation and are primarily an academic celebration focusing on science and literature. In addition to the Nobel Laureates and their families, Their Majesties the King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family of Sweden are guests of honour at both the Prize Award Ceremony and the Banquet. Representatives of the Swedish Government and Parliament also participate. International guests enjoy priority, especially those who represent the sciences and cultural life. Swedish guests are people who participate in Nobel-related functions in one capacity or another, aid the sciences through donations or otherwise support the Foundation and the Prize Awarding
Stockholm City Hall

Inside the Stockholm City Hall.
Copyright © The Nobel Foundation
Photo: Boo Jonsson

In Oslo the Nobel Peace Prize is presented by the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Norway, the Government, Storting representatives and an invited audience. Several hundred seats are reserved for persons with special reasons for wishing to attend the ceremony. Later the same day, the Norwegian Nobel Committee hosts a banquet in honour of the Laureate, with specially invited guests.

Oslo City Hall

Inside Oslo City Hall.

Since the Nobel Prize is regarded by far as the most prestigious prize in the world, the Award Ceremonies as well as the Banquets in Stockholm and Oslo on 10 December have been transformed from local Swedish and Norwegian arrangements into major international events that receive worldwide coverage by the print media, radio and television.

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