Gratulerer med dagen: how we celebrated 17.mai

Last year I shared a little about the seventeenth of May (syttende mai), Norway’s constitution day. (You can read about May 17 HERE and the rest of the weekend HERE).This year is the 200 year anniversary of Norway’s constitution*. This was our second year to celebrate syttende mai in Norway.

Syttende mai is a fun day, and especially when the weather is as great as it was this past Saturday! We enjoyed a nice walk to the boys schools to start the day. Their classes then proceeded into the city to join all the other area schools for a program and parade.

After some music and speeches, the ‘barnetog’ began. The barnetog is the children’s parade. Much of syttende mai is focused on children, remembering that they are the future. Zack and I enjoyed watching the parade with three families from our neighborhood. Lots of language practice!

After the parade, we had lunch in the city. A big theme of the day is food, especially pølser (hot dogs) and is (ice cream).

We took a short break at home, so everyone could rest a little. Next up, we were back to the city for the ‘borgertog’. Borgertoget is the citizens parade. It includes teams, clubs, corps (marching bands) singing groups, etc. William participated with his football team. Zack, Daniel and I met up with several friends to watch the borgertog.

After the second parade, and an obligatory ice cream, we drove to Larvik/Faris Bad for a cookout and evening with friends: really good food, lots more Norwegian practice, and plenty of time to relax, Plus, the boys got to drive a boat and relax (yeah, right!) in the hot tub!

It was a really fun day, and we all slept great afterwards! Thanks to so many wonderful friends for including us and making us feel at home on your country’s special day.












*A quick bit of history, if you’re interested in it: Norway boasts the second oldest constitution in the world that is still in use. The constitution was signed on May 17, 1814 in Eidsvoll, just north of Oslo. It was the first major step the nation took towards becoming a democracy. (Norway and Sweden ultimately dissolved their union on June 7, 1905, as the first Norwegian king took the throne on November 18th of that year.)

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