Constitution Day of Norway May 17 celebration


Oslo, Norway (By Ahmed Tanveer): The Constitution Day of Norway May 17 is celebrated widely every year in Norway, and everywhere across the world Norwegians gather. Norwegian men and women holding flags  of all ages dress in their Bunad, or national costume. Graduating high school students wear uniforms and celebrate the approaching school year’s end. The 17th of May was established as a National Day in 1814 as the Constitution of Norway was signed in Eidsvoll, declaring Norway as an independent nation. However, Norway was under Swedish rule at that time and the Swedes believed that the celebration was a provocation against Sweden and the royal family. After several attempted celebrations, King Carl Johan forbade celebrating the day.  The crowd gathered to protest at the main square of Christiana (Oslo), which later became known as the Battle of the Square of 1829. During the 1860’s, 17th of May became more established and the first barnetog (children’s parade) was launched in Christiania (Oslo) in 1870, in a parade consisting of only boys. It was only until 1899 when girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.  The Norwegian constitution but after 1905, the focus had been directed also towards the royal family. Moreover, During the Second World War, the day was not publically celebrated due to German occupation.

Children have a special role in the celebrations. The biggest part of the event is dedicated to them. The children’s parades consist of marching, waving home-made Norwegian flags and carrying school banners. Parades can also vary in size from a few dozen people in the villages to several tens of thousands of participants in Oslo. Children in Oslo pass the Royal Palace, where royal family members wave back from the balcony. May 17th is usually associated with hot dog, soda and ice-cream. Since there is a custom of “eat what you like” on this day, junk food is commonly on the menu, and in large quantities. What is traditionally eaten at family tables, however, often depends on where people are living. For example, near the sea and rivers, eating salmon and trout is quite common. Many Norwegians living abroad and those who have Norwegian roots also share this enthusiasm for the mother land. Particularly Norwegian embassies, churches, student organizations and other Norwegian institutions abroad organize local celebrations in different cities. ( +923132434567 WhatsApp)