Hipp hurra for the 17th of May! Today I am watching the NRK broadcast of all the festivities from Norway on Norway’s National Day. This day is very special in Norway and celebrated with great respect. As an American I have always been fascinated by this tradition and as we really don’t have anything like this in the US.
In Haugesund, the 17th of May starts with a canon salute that will shake you out of your bed around 6 am. Around 7 am a band and a parade of hundreds of my neighbors marches past my window on their way to put flowers on the graves of relatives and military heroes. The rest of the day revolves around 3 parades in the center of town. The first at 10 am with the children, all the schools march and sing.
Most people then go home and eat a nice brunch with family or friends to return to town around 3 pm for the “grown up” parade. Organisations, clubs, marching bands and choirs then stroll down the street in their finest attire, which is most commonly in Haugesund, a Bunad.
The third parade is drunk and disorderly Russ (graduating students). They have been up all night partying and everyone thinks this is totally OK, as long as they don’t get crazy string on their bunad.
Gratulerer med dagen, Norway!