Celebrate 17 Mai Norway: A Guide to National Day

What if I told you there’s a day in Norway that makes everyone join in massive celebrations? The whole nation gathers in celebrations full of joy, unity, and national pride. This day, the 17th of May, is Norway’s National Day. It’s known as 17 Mai Norway.

On this day, Norwegians celebrate their constitution’s signing in 1814. This day is a key step towards their independence and national identity. The celebration brings everyone together with great excitement, no matter their age or background.

Are you ready to learn about the rich traditions and history of 17 Mai Norway? Let’s explore this amazing celebration. We’ll discover its secrets and get into the spirit of this special day.

History of 17 Mai Norway

17 Mai Norway is a big day for Norwegians. It is their Constitution Day. It celebrates when Norway got its own constitution on May 17, 1814. This was a major step towards independence and democracy.

Norwegian Independence Day ended Norwegian rule under Denmark. It began a new chapter for Norway. The constitution signing at Eidsvoll allowed Norway to govern itself. It was the start of Norway as a free nation.

“The constitution was a big change for Norway. It moved from Danish rule to being independent and democratic.”

Today, 17 Mai Norway is a day filled with happiness and tradition. It brings the country together. Everyone feels proud and united on this day.

In Norway, you’ll see parades, concerts, and lots of flag waving. The streets are full of people in national costumes, called bunads. They all follow traditional songs.

The celebration isn’t just in Norway. Norwegian communities worldwide join in. From New York to Sydney, Norwegians show their pride and remember their home.

17 Mai Norway isn’t only about looking back. It shows Norway’s ongoing dedication to freedom, equality, and democracy. It reminds Norwegians of their country’s long road to success.

The Significance of Norwegian Constitution Day

17 Mai Norway means more than remembering the past. It focuses on the values and culture that shaped the nation. It’s about being together and celebrating what makes Norway unique.

The day brings Norwegians of all kinds together. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. What matters is the shared pride in being Norwegian.

“17 Mai Norway shows our belief in democracy and our unity. We celebrate what makes us Norwegian,” says Lars Andersen, a student in Oslo.

This celebration is also about the younger generation. They learn about Norway’s history and traditions. It helps keep Norwegian culture alive for the future.

A Glimpse into the Past

To truly get 17 Mai Norway, you must know Norway’s fight for independence. And how its constitution was created.

In the early 1800s, Denmark and Norway were one. But Denmark’s power declined due to the Napoleonic Wars, giving Norway a chance for independence.

In 1814, Norway’s leaders met in Eidsvoll and wrote a constitution that gave power back to the people. This was a key step towards independence.

On May 17 of that year, they signed the constitution. This moment started Norway’s journey to being its own country.

The Evolution of Celebration

17 Mai celebrations have changed over time. Initially, they were solemn, with speeches and religious events. But with Norway’s growth as a nation, the celebrations became livelier.

By the 19th century, 17 Mai became a statement of national pride. Norwegians used it to show their unique culture and identity, and this tradition continued.

Today, the parades are a big part of 17 Mai celebrations. They show off Norway’s national dress and flag. It brings people closer and continues Norway’s unique traditions.

Year Event
1824 First children’s parade in Bergen
1869 The Royal Family begins participating in the Oslo parade
1889 The first female student parade in Oslo
1906 Construction of the Children’s Parade in Oslo begins
1945 First celebration following Norway’s liberation from German occupation

Traditions and Customs

17 Mai Norway, or syttende mai, is a big day in Norway. It’s all about the country’s independence and signing of its constitution. Norwegians use this day to celebrate their culture and history together.

Traditional Clothing

On this day, you’ll see many in Norway wearing bunads. These are traditional costumes that change with each area. By wearing them, people feel a strong link to their local heritage and family history. The bunads are bright and detailed, showing off Norway’s diverse and beautiful culture.

Festive Parades

A main part of the 17 Mai celebrations is the parades. They happen all over Norway and include bands, groups from local communities, kids, and sometimes the royal family. The streets are full of Norwegian flags, making a happy, patriotic atmosphere.

“The parades on 17 Mai Norway are a testament to the strong sense of national unity and togetherness that defines us as Norwegians. It’s a day where we celebrate our history, our culture, and each other.”

Children’s Processions

Especially touching are the children’s parades. Kids walk with flags and sing. This is how the love for Norway’s ways and values passes from one generation to the next, keeping Norway’s identity strong.

Family Gatherings

17 Mai Norway is a big day for families to be together. People enjoy picnics, barbecues, and games outdoors. It’s a day for family fun and making good memories.

Traditional Norwegian Food

Food Description
Lefse A thin, potato-based flatbread often served with butter and sugar.
Klippfisk Dried, salted cod that is soaked and rehydrated before being cooked.
Rømmegrøt A rich and creamy porridge made from sour cream, flour, and butter.
Bringebær-bløtkake A layer cake made with sponge cake, raspberry cream, and whipped cream.
Fårikål A traditional lamb and cabbage stew, often considered the national dish of Norway.

On 17 Mai, Norwegians feast on traditional foods like lefse and rømmegrøt. Food is at the heart of the celebrations, uniting friends and family to enjoy Norwegian dishes together.

Oslo Celebrations on 17 Mai

Celebrating 17 Mai in Norway is best in Oslo, the capital city. It’s a day full of joy and pride, and everyone feels like they are part of something big.

On the 17th of May, Oslo is all about major events, parades, and fun things to see. It’s a day the whole city shows off Norwegian flags. You’ll see the flag’s colors, red, white, and blue, everywhere.

The parade is a top event in Oslo on 17 Mai. It’s huge, with school kids, bands, and more joining. This parade shows off how united Norwegians are. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

After the parade, there’s plenty to do and see. You can enjoy concerts, eat traditional food, and see shows. There’s fun for everyone. Families can picnic, kids can play, and you can eat great food.


“The Oslo celebrations on 17 Mai Norway are truly a sight to behold. The city comes alive with a vibrant atmosphere, and the unity and pride of the Norwegian people are palpable.”

“Experiencing 17th of May in Oslo is an incredible opportunity to witness Norway’s rich traditions and celebrate with the locals. The parades, concerts, and festivities create an unforgettable experience that showcases the true spirit of the nation.”

Major Events Location Time
Parade Downtown Oslo Morning to early afternoon
Concerts and Performances Various venues throughout the city All day
Fireworks Display Frogner Park Evening

Don’t miss the Oslo celebrations on 17 Mai, whether you’re local or visiting. It’s a day to love Norway and experience its deep culture. Join the heartwarming celebration for an unforgettable experience.

National Day Parades

The national day parades are key to Norway’s 17 Mai celebrations. They are very important for bringing Norwegians together. These events are eagerly awaited and help build a strong sense of national identity.

Think of the streets as a canvas painted with bright colors. People eagerly come out to watch and participate in the parades. Along the streets, you’ll see crowds waving flags, showing their support for the paraders.

The parades reflect Norway’s diverse culture. You’ll see folks in traditional outfits, with regional dances and music. The scenes are alive with the sounds of music and the sight of colorful costumes.

Kids have a big role in these parades. They form bands and carry their school’s banners. It’s touching to see their joy and pride as they march with their peers, families, and friends.

The Role of National Day Parades in Fostering Unity

The national day parades are about more than just marking Norway’s freedom. They remind us of what unites the country and celebrate values that are dear to all Norwegians, creating a sense of togetherness across the nation.

Community’s gather at the parades to celebrate their history and culture. Together, they show the world the unity that makes Norway strong and welcoming.

At the parades, Norwegians stand for democracy and celebrate everyone’s unique story. It’s a moment where everyone, despite their differences, celebrates as one nation.

Highlights from National Day Parades

Location Key Features
Oslo Grand procession through the city center, military bands, traditional costumes.
Bergen Colorful floats, marching bands, traditional folk dancing.
Trondheim Large-scale parade with student organizations, cultural groups, and community associations.
Tromsø Samí culture representation, reindeer-led parades, traditional Samí joiking (chanting).

The parades honor Norway’s independence and its people’s unwavering spirit. They stand for the unity and diversity that make Norway special. It’s a time to remember what we share as a nation.

Family Activities and Festivities

On 17 Mai, Norway celebrates its independence with families coming together. This day bursts with fun activities and brings people of all ages into the streets. It’s felt in big cities like Oslo and even the smallest villages, creating a cheerful atmosphere.

The family picnic is a treasured part of the day in Norway. Families spread out in parks to eat and have fun. It’s special to eat outside with family, making memories that stick around.

Children and those young at heart find plenty to do on 17 Mai. They wear traditional clothes known as bunads and play games, including sack races and tug-of-war. Face painting and balloon animals add to the excitement.

“17 Mai Norway is a day of joy and celebration for families across the country. It’s a time to cherish our traditions, connect with loved ones, and create lasting memories together.”

Throughout the day, culture takes the stage bringing dance, music, and plays. Norway’s deep cultural history is on display. People sing along and cheer for the performers.

As the day goes on, the famous parades start in Oslo and other cities. The parades feature bands, flowers, and colorful floats. Kids and parents march together, waving flags. It’s a time of national pride and happiness.

Family Activities and Festivities on 17 Mai Norway

Activities Highlights
Picnics Enjoying traditional Norwegian foods and spending quality time with family outdoors
Games and activities Sack races, tug-of-war, face painting, and balloon animals
Cultural performances Displays of traditional music, dance, and theater that celebrate Norwegian culture
Parades Featuring marching bands, floral displays, and floats, promoting national unity

17 Mai marks a special day for Norway, a time for family and embracing tradition. From picnics to parades, everyone finds something to enjoy. No matter where you are, the spirit of 17 Mai unites and brings joy, making it a memorable celebration.

NLS Norwegian Language School in Oslo

The NLS Norwegian Language School in Oslo is well-known. It’s all about spreading the joy of the Norwegian language and culture. It’s right in the heart of Oslo, offering various courses for every level of learner.

At NLS, talented and enthusiastic teachers are ready to help you. They aim to make learning fun and engaging. No matter if you’re new to the language or you want to get better, there’s a course just for you.

17 Mai is a big deal at NLS because it’s Norway’s national day. The school goes all out to celebrate. There are special events that let everyone see the true spirit of this important day.

“At NLS, we see language and culture as one. Our 17 Mai events are designed to really show our students what it’s all about. We have parades, people in traditional dress, and cultural shows. Our goal is to make everyone feel close to Norway’s heritage. It’s a fantastic time to enjoy our language and feel the 17 Mai spirit.” – Anna Olsen, Head of NLS Norwegian Language School

NLS students get to be part of the big 17 Mai celebrations in Oslo. The school arranges trips to the city’s parades and events. This lets you see and feel the excitement and national pride Oslo has on 17 Mai.

Whether you’re crazy about languages, love exploring cultures, or just want to be with Norwegians, NLS is the place for you. Come join us in celebrating 17 Mai and start a unique journey of learning and living culture.

The Spirit of 17 Mai Norway

17 Mai Norway is more than just a national day; it’s a celebration that ignites the spirit of unity, joy, and pride in every Norwegian’s heart. The festivities on this special day bring together people from all walks of life, creating a vibrant atmosphere that showcases the rich traditions of Norway.

The celebrations are marked with Norwegians wearing their traditional Bunads, these colorful costumes reflecting various regions of the country. They are not just clothes; they represent a deep pride in Norwegian culture and history. In wearing Bunads on 17 Mai, Norwegians honor the past and keep the traditions alive for the next generations.

“17 Mai Norway is a day filled with joy, laughter, and a strong sense of national pride. The atmosphere is electric as people of all ages come together to celebrate our beautiful country and the values we hold dear.”

Central to the 17 Mai Norway celebrations are the lively parades. You’ll see children, youth, and adults marching, waving flags, and showcasing school performances. These parades embody a sense of togetherness and underscore the significance of education and community life in Norway.

The joviality carries on throughout the day. Families come together for picnics in parks, enjoying favorites like hot dogs and ice cream. Kvæfjordkake, a layered cake, adds to the festive menu. Meanwhile, kids join in games and activities, and cultural shows liven up the celebration.

Key Elements of the 17 Mai Norway Celebrations

Traditions Customs Activities
Wearing traditional Bunads Festive parades Picnics and family gatherings
Raising and waving flags National anthem singing Games and activities for children
Participating in school events Decorating streets and houses Cultural performances and concerts

The infectious spirit of 17 Mai Norway is unforgettable. It’s a day to honor the country’s past, connect with other Norwegians, and celebrate the unique traditions that define Norway.


We’ve finished diving into the lively celebrations of 17 Mai in Norway. This day is filled with deep history, traditions, and a strong sense of community. It features big parades in Oslo and joyful events for families. It’s a chance to get to know Norwegian culture in a special way.

Both locals and tourists find the 17 Mai celebrations unforgettable. The happiness and pride felt during these events show Norwegians’ deep love for their country. It’s a day of unity, celebration, and respect for Norway’s Constitution.

For anyone eager to learn more about Norway, the NLS Norwegian Language School in Oslo is a great start. They offer classes and events that help people get closer to Norwegian traditions. This makes them a key resource for those wanting to understand 17 Mai better.

Remember to join the fun of 17 Mai in Norway. Celebrate with people, watch amazing parades, enjoy the local food, and feel the welcoming spirit of the day. It’s a time that really shows what Norway and its people are all about.


What is 17 Mai Norway?

17 Mai Norway is the country’s National Day. It marks the signing of the Norwegian Constitution on May 17, 1814. This day is full of joy, with parades and cultural activities.

How do Norwegians celebrate 17 Mai Norway?

Norwegians celebrate this day with a lot of excitement and pride. They wear bunads, which are traditional clothes. There are parades, concerts, and family activities. It’s a day of coming together as a nation.

What are some of the traditions and customs associated with 17 Mai Norway?

One significant tradition is wearing bunads. Also, people join parades, where they march with flags. They sing the national anthem and eat special foods like hot dogs and ice cream.

What are the major Oslo celebrations on 17 Mai?

Oslo has big celebrations for 17 Mai. There are parades, concerts, and cultural shows. The highlight is a parade with thousands of children. They sing and carry flags in the streets.

What is the significance of the national day parades?

The parades show the unity and pride of Norway. They highlight the country’s rich culture. The events include music, floats, and traditional clothes. They are for everyone to enjoy.

Is 17 Mai Norway a family-oriented celebration?

Yes, the celebration is all about family. Families have picnics and play games together. Children join in the parades. There are lots of events for families. It’s a time for joy and togetherness.

How can I experience the spirit of 17 Mai Norway?

To feel the 17 Mai spirit, join in the fun. Watch the parades, wear a bunad, and eat local food. Connect with people and take part in local events. This way, you can truly celebrate the day.

If you want to learn Norwegian, you can register for classes here. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you become fluent in Norwegian.

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