Wednesday, 17 May 2017

National Day of Norway

Hurray! It is the 17th of May!

National Day of Norway

Parades, marching orchestras, national costumes – bunads – and lots of ice-cream. No fest in Norway equals the scale of the National Day.

Brazil is famous for its carnivals, Ireland – for its Saint Patrick’s Day. And what about Norway? If course, it is May 17th, the holiday of the signing of the Constitution in 1814.

National Day of Norway

In Norway, National Day is a fest for everyone, specifically for children. In the morning, Norwegians usually have a festive breakfast at home and often invite neighbors and friends. They serve fresh bread, omelet, smoked salmon, and champagne – for adults.

After that children processions start around the whole country, led by marching orchestras. The most grand-scale parades gather tens of thousands of people. Everybody wave flags and shout “Hurray!” In Oslo, the royal family greets the parade from the palace's balcony. The atmosphere is most joyful and pacifist, children are on the spotlight.

National Day of Norway

This day many Norwegians – men and women – proudly put on their bunads, national costumes.

Red and blue jumpsuits of russ seem less elegant. Russ are school graduates celebrating the end of their 13-years’ education. They have their own parades. They drive along the streets in buses and cars, playing loud music and offering their russekorts (russ-cards). Those are personal cards with contact information and comic by-lines.

National Day of Norway

Ice-cream and hot-dogs are popular festive food – though not too healthy. Afternoon is a time for crowd games and speeches.

Do not expect to do your business on the 17th of May – the majority of shops and offices will be closed.

If you travel by car, mind that the central part of the majority of cities will be closed, and there is high possibility of traffic jams.

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