Norway signed its constitution into law which made it an independent kingdom from Sweden on May 17 1814…17Mai (May 17) is known as Norwegian National Day and celebrated annually as a public holiday by Norwegians both home and abroad. We got to celebrate together at Southwark Park and not Oslo…special shout out to the UDI for making this day possible… haha…Anyways Hipp! Hipp! Hurra! Had my first Syttende Mai (May 17) experience!!! The day is marked with a lot of partying, champagne breakfasts, parades, cakes, ice cream, singing the national song, and pølse med brød (A hot dog). Norwegians deck up in their traditional outfits; Bunads, go out in a parade train (tog) and wave their flags cheering and singing festive songs. Bunads also tell what part of Norway the wearer comes from. Any Norwegians know where they are from??
In the capital city Oslo, the royal family wave from the Castle’s Terrace to children in the parade train, and everyone who has gathered to celebrate the day at the Castle. Another highlight for locals and tourists is the King’s Guards parade, click here to view.
When we figured we were going to be in England for 17Mai we looked up celebrations in London and signed up to attend via their Facebook page. We woke up that morning, made some breakfast, streamed the King’s Guards parade via NRK, got dressed and made our way to Southwark Park.
We had to buy a raffle ticket worth £1 each to get in…sadly we did not win anything. We were surprised at the turn out…The park was full of men and women clad in Bunads….Felt like we went from England to Norway in a second as immediately we stepped into the park everyone communicated only in Norsk!(Norwegian) and naturally all the words I know in Norwegian flew out of my brain…hahaha. There were tents for flags, ice-cream, pølse med brød, and one serving norwegian finger food.
The children then filed up for the parade with the adults following behind. press play below to view
The crowd cheered and sang heartily; NORGE! (NORWAY!)… They waved their flags and I walked with them in the crowd, taking it all in…Taking in how much Norwegians love and are proud of their nation and heritage! Hopefully next year I will get to see the King’s Guards performance live.
Royal Family Picture – www.royalcourt.no