Happy Norwegian Constitution Day!


17th of May is Norway’s National Day and an official national holiday. We call it Søttende mai which means Seventeenth May. 201 years ago the constitution was created at Eidsvoll and Norway became an independent kingdom after a 434 years union with Denmark. We Norwegians are proud to be independent and celebrate it with parades, flags, music, food and festivities.

I celebrated the day in Bergen with my boyfriend and his mother and stepfather who visited from Sweden. It was their first National Day celebration here in Norway and I think they enjoyed it. The city was so beautifully decorated with flags, flowers in the colors of the flag and everyone wore their best clothes like bunads or suit and dresses even though it rained quite a bit during the parade. We watched the parades, skydivers over the city, listened to the speeches and sang the National Anthem. Then we ate sushi for dinner and went to Starbucks for a coffee and dessert. Walked around in the city and looked at all the people and everything there was to see on this special day. Later in the evening there was a concert on Bryggen with great artists, all with a connection to Bergen, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Sondre Lerche, Charlie Siem, Bjarte Hjelmeland and Ylvis. Then the big new cruise ship Viking Star was christened and there were fireworks.

Happy Norwegian Constitution Day!

Gratulerer med dagen!

2 thoughts on “Happy Norwegian Constitution Day!

  1. Happy Sottende Mai!

    Lots of Scandinavian immigrants settled in Minnesota and Wisconsin and other areas of the US “Midwest”. When I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, one of the smaller cities nearby, Stoughton, had a Sottende Mai celebration every year (though I never managed to get out to see it). Now I understand the significance of it better!

    The area I’m living in now also was settled by lots of Scandinavian immigrants, and there’s still a high proportion of their descendents here today — there are five different lineages of Olsens/Olsons, and there are Nielsons and Sorensens and Jorgensons and so on and so forth. Next weekend, my town is hosting its annual Scandianvian Days festival. Knowing about Sottende Mai makes the timing of this local festival more understandable, too!

    1. Sounds great that the Norwegian Americans over there are proud of their Norwegian heritage and celebrate the Constitution Day :) My mom had an aunt and uncle who moved to Chicago but I know around 800 k migrated in the 1800-1920. There is a reality TV show called Alt for Norge (The Great Norway Adventure in the US) where Norwegian Americans travel to Norway to learn about their roots, Norway and how it is to be a Norwegian. I’m not usually a fan of reality shows but this one is very fun and entertaining :)

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