17th of May… Norwegian Constitution Day (wikipedia).
Norway is the only country, that I´m aware of, where we celebrate constitution day with Childrens-parades. Every child in school-age in every little fjord or village, town or island gather for the Childrens-parade in the morning of 17th of May, dressed in their finest outfits – very often in a bunad – national costume (wikipedia). Later in the afternoon we all gather again to watch the Peoples-parade – again, a non-military parade, that shows every community´s organizations – like sports clubs, choirs and theatre groups. Both parades are filled with marching bands and there´s a lot of singing and waving of flags. If you ever plan to go to Norway – be sure to make 17th of May a part of your stay. You´ll be stunned! I´ve seen foreign, grown-up men cry watching the Childrens-parade!
In between all the walking, singing and waving we make sure to eat well – and of course there´s ice-cream! As much as you can eat! (My daughter claims to have eaten 16 ice-creams one 17th of May…)
Mum: -how did that make you feel?
After the Peoples-parade we often gather in the local school-yard for “Syttendemai games” and lot´s of fun. Of course there´s more ice-cream, cake and a hot-dog or three…
When your feet feels like they have been run over by a steamroller, your bunad threatens to explode due to too much ice-cream, hot-dogs and cake, junior has lost a hair ribbon, a tooth, and her bunad looks like something you found in the trash – the party´s over and we all go home. If it´s not a work-day the day after you might continue the celebration, but most commonly you put your feet high and say: “What a great day – and thank God it´s 364 days till next time!”
Hurra for Syttendemai!!
Note! All pictures are randomly picked from the internet.