Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why Norway Is Celebrating May 17

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May 17 is Norway's national day. The day is celebrated because Norway got its own constitution on 17 May 1814. The day is also called the constitution day.
Norway's constitution was unanimously approved by the National Assembly on Eidsvoll on May 16, 1814. The day after, May 17, the constitution was dated and signed by the prime minister. On the same day, Prince Christian Frederik was elected Norwegian king.
May 17 is a public holiday day and an official flag day. National Day is marked more in Norway than is usual in many other countries.  Many songs, like the National Anthem “Yes, we love this country” (Ja, vi elsker dette landet) are specially linked to May 17th.

For Norwegian anthem click the link.


The day is celebrated with people carrying flags and joining in local parades. Every village and town sets up its own parade. Other than parades in North America, it’s not a commercial show, but rather displays marching bands and kids coming along waving their flags. many people are dressed in traditional dresses.

May 17 002May 17 003May 17 is a day for families to gather and have a good time. It is also common for villages and towns to elect a speaker for the day. These speeches are about freedom, equality and peace.  May 17 in Norway marks the end of winter, yet northern communities often experience snow showers during the parade.

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Above: The gathering at the Royal Palace

Below: The Royal Family greeting the people

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For foreigners, the biggest attraction is the celebration of May 17 in Oslo, where thousands of people transform the streets into a sea of red, white and blue.

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