The 17th of May is Norway’s Constitution Day, with children’s parades and festivities. The celebration in Oslo is a unique family day out with children parading up Oslo’s main street to the Royal Palace where the Royal Family awaits. It’s a peaceful parade, celebrating freedom for Norway. Perhaps an good excuse to visit Oslo this Spring? This is how you can celebrate 17th of May like a Norwegian!
‘Gratulerer med dagen!’ is how you greet people on the 17th of May. But there’s perhaps a few more things you’d like to know, to be able to celebrate like a Norwegian.
What to eat? The day is often started with Champagne breakfast, including cakes and fresh strawberries. Book a table well in advance for lunch. By the end of the day you will probably be too tired to even think about dinner.
Our family have only one rule for 17th of May; Eat as many ice creams and strawberries as you like!
What to wear? It’s a special occasion for Norwegians, with many wearing their beautiful traditional costumes. You would have to wear something smart. And most important is perhaps the Norwegian flag, that can also be worn as a small brooch on your lapel.
And don’t forget comfortable shoes! You will be walking and standing, from early morning…
Stay in Oslo; stay in a quiet upmarket area of Oslo, within walking distance of both the Royal Palace and Oslo’s waterfront with a vibrant restaurant life, Tjuvholmen. Book a family room that accommodates 4, in a beautiful design hotel. Gulsmeden, with it’s eco hotel profile and delicious organic breakfast is our recommended choice. 2 nights for 4 people in a comfortable family room £400* – Boutique Hotel Carlton Gulsmeden
Or live like a Norwegian, through Airbnb. You would like to stay close to the Royal Palace where the main procession takes place. Search for areas such as Skillebekk, Frogner and Uranienborg.
Fly from London to Oslo; with British Airways, SAS, Norwegian Airlines or Ryanair. Prices from £9.99** one way.
In addition to lots of lovely ‘bunader’, the traditional Norwegian costume, there are also lots of little ones dressed in sailor outfits – so adorable! The retro inspired knitted girls dresses shown in this post is from Charlott Petersen’s newest collection of knitting patterns for SS15. If you get your knitting needles out now, you might have just enough time to knit one to your little one, in time for the 17th of May celebration! ministrikk.no
If you do decide to celebrate 17th of May, and are new to the traditional festivities, I recommend you read Every Rule You Should(‘nt) Break on Norway’s National Day by Frog in the Fjord.
There’s also a 17th of May celebration on London, with thousands of Norwegians parading through Southwark park. This is followed by games for the children as well as entertainment. It’s a lovely day out for the family, and no need to speak Norwegian. All welcome!
© Photos all rights reserved, ministrikk.no
When parading, don’t forget to wave your flag and join in, in a loud Hipp Hipp Hurra!
*Exchange rate when this article was posted.
** Ryanair London – Oslo lowest fare. Subject to availability.