17th of May is Norway’s National Day and is an important day for many Norwegians. It is the day where the Norwegian people celebrate that Norway got its own constitution in 1814. Norwegian people walk in parades all over the country, wave the Norwegian flag and wear their national costumes, the “bunad”. In schools, you will find children doing fun activities all day long and it is also very common to eat hot dogs and a lot of ice cream on this day.
While many countries celebrate their national day with a military parade, the 17th of May is more of a celebration for everyone, and especially the children. Before you head out in the streets, many will have a "17th of May breakfast" – often a potluck with friends and neighbours – with freshly baked bread, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, and for the grown-ups, champagne.
Children’s parades then take place across the country and led by marching bands they walk through their communities. The largest of the traditional parades attracts tens of thousands of people waving flags and shouting «hurra! ». In Oslo, the parade is greeted by the royal family waving to the crowd.
The day is also an opportunity for men and women to wear their "bunad", Norway’s traditional costumes. There are hundreds of different ones, with colours and styles indicating where in Norway the owner's ancestry lies. This is a truly special time to be in Norway, and you should, by all means, join in with the locals, but don't expect to get much else done that day – most shops and offices are closed on the 17th of May.
Thank you for following our blogs.
Youth Delegates from Nepal,
Prakriti and Deepak.