Norway’s Constitution Day is celebrated on May 17th. It commemorates the date when the nation’s constitution was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17th 1814.
The Norwegian constitution is the second oldest constitution still used in the world today. Last year was the celebration of the 200th anniversary. It is usually referred to as syttendemai (May 17) or Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) in Norway.
Constitution Day celebrations follow a traditional pattern of parades involving schools, high school graduates, bands, and other members and organisations within the local community. Many people, especially children, dress in their finest clothes on this day with many games, activities and social gatherings.
Many Norwegians and people with Norwegian ancestry also celebrate the day in different countries around the world.
Norway’s Constitution Day is a public holiday in Norway. Schools, public offices and businesses are closed. Road users need to take into account that some streets, particularly in the town centres, will be closed and there may be traffic because of the parades that take place on the day, which attract crowds.
From 1906 onwards, the Norwegian royal family has gathered on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Oslo, which is Norway’s capital city, to wave to the marching children on Constitution Day each year.
The bunad, a traditional Norwegian dress, can be worn during Constitution Day.It varies in appearance from region to region, and may feature flower motifs, stripes and pleats. Embroidery can be used on many different parts of the costume, including bonnets, belts, aprons, skirts, shirts, and bodices.
An abundance of flags are also seen on this day. The Norwegian flag is red with an indigo blue Scandinavian cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag. The vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side.
If you are a Norwegian who wants to better connect with your fellow countrymen, especially on the National Day, we would suggest that you check out the Hua Hin Norwegian Association by visiting their website for details of activities and email connections.