fredag 17. mai 2013

17. Mai - Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway

Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation.

A noteworthy aspect of the Norwegian Constitution Day is its very non-military nature. All over Norway, children's parades with an abundance of flags form the central elements of the celebration. Each elementary school district arranges its own parade with marching bands between schools. The parade takes the children through the community, often making stops at homes of senior citizens, war memorials, etc. The longest parade is in Oslo, where some 100,000 people travel to the city centre to participate in the main festivities. This is broadcast on TV every year, with comments on costumes, banners etc., together with local reports from celebrations around the country. The massive Oslo parade includes some 100 schools, marching bands, and passes the royal palace where the royal family greet the people from the main balcony.
Typically a school’s children parade will consist of some senior school children carrying the school’s official banner, followed by a handful of other older children carrying full size Norwegian flags, and the school’s marching band. After the band the rest of the school children follow with hand sized flags, often with the junior forms first, and often behind self made banners for each form or even individual class. Nearby kindergartens may also have been invited to join in. As the parade passes, bystanders often join in behind the official parade, and follow the parade back to the school. Depending on the community, the parade may make stops at particular sites along the route, such as a nursing home or war memorial. In Oslo the parade stops at the Royal Palace while Skaugum, the home of the crown prince, has been a traditional waypoint for parades in Asker.
During the parade a marching band will play and the children will sing lyrics about the celebration of the National Day. The parade concludes with the stationary singing of the national anthem "Ja, vi elsker dette landet" (typically verses 1, 7 and 8), and the royal anthem "Kongesangen".
In addition to flags, people typically wear red, white and blue ribbons. Although a long-standing tradition, it has lately become more popular for men, women, and children to wear traditional outfits, called bunad. The children also make a lot of noise shouting "Hurra!", singing, blowing whistles and shaking rattles.
In addition to children's parades, there are parades for the public, where every citizen is welcome to join in. These are led by marching bands and often local boy scouts and girl guides, local choirs, etc. This takes place in the early morning or in the afternoon, before or after the school's parade.
All parades begin or end with speeches. Both grown-ups and older children are invited to speak. After the parades, there are games for the children, and often a lot of icecream, pop, sweets and hotdogs are consumed.

From Wikipedia. If you search "Norwegian Constitution Day, you can read more about 17.mai.

6 kommentarer:

  1. Lovely photos, Mona! Thank you for sharing--it's very interesting. Happy May 17th! xo Jennifer

  2. Thank you Mona for this interesting post. Happy 17th May Day!
    Hugs, Drora

  3. Hei Mona! I hope you had a happy day.
    Have a lovely weekend! :)

  4. Hi Mona, Thank you so much for sharing. I love reading all about each of the cultures and countries of the bloggers that I follow!

    I see that you live in Norway and wonder if you are interested in something that I have in my stash. I had picked up these antique cigarette silks a while back and one of them is for Norway. It would make a great dollhouse banner - you can see a picture of it on my blog: last pic on this post -

    If you are interested, send me an email with your address at and I will happily send it - no cost(!) as I am paring down my craft stash in anticipation of moving soon.

  5. Hoppas ni hade en trevlig Nationaldag. Ni kan ju verkligen konsten att fira ert fina land! Det är Härligt!

    Er nationaldag firas ju en hel del i Stockholm också, av glada Norrmän och andra som gillar Norge.

    Lil på Lilsdolls

  6. Gracias Mona poe esas preciosas imagenes, tiene que ser precioso estar ahí.
    Mil besos...Julia.