The 17th of May – Norway’s National Day

The 17th of May
This picture was taken on my first ever 17th of May, three weeks before my first birthday.

It is soon The 17th of May, also known as the Norwegian Constitution Day.

This is a day for enjoyment and patriotism, much like 4th of July is for Americans.

Although, Americans seem to indulge in a bit more patriotism on a day-to-day basis than us Norwegian do. So the 17th of May is something really out of the ordinary for us.

The day is also the culmination of the month-long Russ Celebration, which serves as a graduation celebration by Norwegian upper secondary schoolers.

But first and foremost, the 17th of May is a celebratory day for the children.

The 17th of May
This is a picture of me and my sister from 2001, when I was ten years old.

Soon kids all over Norway will wake up, eager to attend their school’s children’s parade.

In Oslo, the parade will bring them up to the castle. There the king and queen will happily wave down to the children from their castle balcony.

In the rest of Norway, there will be no royalty to greet them. Instead, people from the local community will show up to cheer on the kids.

Later, there will be activities held at the different schools, and in town and city centres.

There will be hot dogs, soda, sack races, egg-and-spoon races, pole climbing, helium balloons, candy, and so on.

There hopefully won’t be any snow or rain. But I’ve had both on May 17th many times before, and it is never enough to entirely stop the festivities.

A picture of a ten year old SindrElf, getting ready for a sack race.

My plans, since I neither have nor am a kid, are different.

To begin with, me and my partner are going to visit her family for brunch.

Later, the two of us are meeting several members of my family in the city centre, where my mother has booked a table for dinner at a restaurant.

I do sort of miss the parades and carnival games of my childhood’s May 17s.

But in actuality, I would much rather enjoy a good meal inside with family and friends, than having to run around outside all day.

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