GRATULERER MED DAGEN, NORGE!
By request from Nick, I decided I’d make an English post about May 17th.
May 17th is Norway’s Constitution Day, and we celebrate it every year by filling the streets with celebratory crowds of both young and old. We flag and yell «Hurra!» (Hooray!) in celebration of Norway’s constitution, which we got in Eidsvoll in the year of 1814. The celebrations vary from place to place in Norway, but all follows a traditional pattern which makes this the highlight of the year for norwegian children. The children walk in children’s parades (which also includes bands, russ and all who wants to join in!), eat ice cream (essential for a great celebration, hehe!!), hot dogs and buy overpriced helium-balloons. Almost all of Norway get’s up early and put on their good clothing to watch these parades. If you’re in Oslo this day, you will have the opportunity to go see the Royal Family gathered on the balcony of the Royal Palace, «Slottet», waving to the children marching by (and of course to all the other people.).
The russ (which I mentioned earlier) consists of graduates celebrating the ending of a 17 day long celebration of their 13 years in school. If you’re wondering how to detect a russ in a crowd, don’t worry I’ll show you:
The russ wear different color overalls (the color depends on what subjects you have in school/line of study) as well as cap’s with different knuter (knots) and toys/objects tied to it that represents some of the crazy stuff they’ve done during the first 17 days of May. The russ are well known in Norway for their high spirit, soaking water on the ones that are younger than them, crazy everyday routines (drinking, school, drinking, school, and so forth), and carrying around cards they’ve made themselves (with their photo + quotes etc…) that they hand out to the smaller kids that collect them. Most russ also transport themselves around town in self-decorated buses and vans (usually in the same color as their overalls) with slogans and booming music.
On May 17th it’s become more and more popular to dress up in the national costume, the bunad. The bunad’s appearance varies from region to region all over Norway, and the sight of the different national costumes from all over the country is one of the reasons why this day truly represents a celebration of Norway’s traditions and history.
I personally own a Sunnmørsbunad, which you can see here if you’re interested :).
This May 17th I woke up quite early and put on my cute summer outfit (not my bunad this year, for the first time ever… I now realize I prefer the bunad on the constitution day) and went up to see the parade. After the parade I ate ice cream and hot dogs with my friends, and went home after many hours with fun in the sun (hehe). At home I relaxed a bit before my family had guests over for a barbeque. A short while after this I went down to the sea and went out on a friend’s boat with a group of people. It got cloudy so we went home to one of them and got served cake and ice cream by his mom (thank you) before we all split and went home. A good May 17th if you ask me. 🙂
Next year will be different, sadly, but I’ve done some research and it turns out that Ohio has something called Ohio Norsemen who celebrates May 17th yearly (from what I understand), so hopefully I’ll be able to go and celebrate it with them and the other norwegians in the area (plus maybe mom and dad will let me have a May 17th party!! :D).
HURRA HURRA HURRA, Elisabeth