17th of May

This is our national day, our independence day, an national holiday where almost everything is closed and people flock to the streets to be together in celebrating our independence from greedy neighbor states like Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Usually it starts early for the marching bands and officials, with the rising of the flag, and ceremonies at the memorials of fallen soldiers. Then the school kids and marching bands gather somewhere (this is not a day off for kids really, they have to participate) and walk in a parade with their flags and rehearsed nationalistic and happy songs, while parents and others watch. Then the parade stops somewhere, at the school or at a nice big place, where there is time for games, ice cream, sausages, soda (the last three very important to all kids on this day), singing, more marching band music and the dreaded speeches. You could use last years speech and no one would notice, really. Just make some adjustments on the weather-part and you are good to go.

In Oslo all the kids from the whole city have a common parade that walk in front of the castle and the happy waving royal family. Other big cities also have a common parade for all the kids early in the day.

After a break of some hours there is in most places time for another parade, a “borgertog”, citizen parade, where anyone joins the marching band from somewhere a place where there is more games, food, speeches, music and so on.

In the evenings most people gather together with their friends, neighbors and family to eat some more, and be happy. It’s generally a good day, and if the weather is nice (no rain or snow) people have a great time.

People usually wear their Bunad on this day, and everyone congratulates each other, even though they don’t know each other, a very strange thing in a country where you usually don’t know your neighbors.

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3 Responses to 17th of May

  1. Pingback: Russ and their celebration called Russefeiring | You ask about Norway…

  2. Pingback: Celebrations in Norway | You ask about Norway…

  3. Pingback: Lompe and lefse | You ask about Norway…

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