vi elsker norge

May 17th

Today, May 17th, is Norway’s national day. Norway is the Scandinavian country that celebrates their national day the most.This day in 1814, Norway left its 400-year long union with Denmark and became an independent nation with its own constitution (although they kinda entered a union with Sweden until 1905). All over the country, people wear the national costume (bunad) and celebrate Norway’s independence and democratic rights in parades.

From a parade in Oslo.

May 17th is mostly a day for children and there is a “rule” that children must receive as many ice creams, hot dogs and soft drinks as they want. Usually at schools or in parks there are activities for children where entire communities gather after they’ve marched. 

Usually a lot of kindergartens and elementary schools marches to the resident of the royal family, where they wave to all the children passing by.

The Royal Family

It’s also the last day of russetiden, the celebration of graduating upper secondary school. People celebrating russetiden can be spotted in this outfit:

Norway’s national costumes (bunad) vary a lot in colour and pattern, but they usually look a lot like this:

These outfits are usually very expensive, so not everyone has one. It is much more common for girls than for boys to wear bunads.

In the parades, there are usually marching bands and people singing patriotic songs, such as these:

Norway’s national anthem, Ja, vi elsker (Yes, we love).

Norge i rødt hvit og blått (Norway in red, white and blue). This is my personal favourite.

I hope everyone in Norway has a great Constitution Day today!