This month I went to Norway to celebrate our national holiday, May 17 (a celebration of our Constitution). I wanted my daughter to experience this day with our family in Norway; her first of many national holidays. So, many people ask me what we do to celebrate this special day? Let me walk you through my personal 6 most important things of the day!
# 1: getting dressed with my national costume!
Norway has several different national costumes (called “bunad” in Norwegian) for women and men, depending on which region you come from. Since I come from the north of Norway (Nordland), I have the national costume called “Nordlandsbunad” (there is a green and a blue version of it). It was actually nominated the most beautiful national costume in the country recently, which makes me very proud. For us, this dress is an important part of our culture and we carry it with lots of pride.
# 2: family!
This is a day for the family and most importantly, for the children! The whole family get together and enjoy (of course there is a little stress involved, as the children mostly have several parades and activities they need to participate in, but it`s mostly done with a big smile)! This year, I spent the day with my mom, my aunt and uncle, my two cousins and their families, and most important; with my little Josie!
# 3: the parades!
There are normally two or three parades during this day. In the morning, the schools start off with the first parade, including marching bands and lots of flags! Then, in the afternoon, the organizations and clubs have a parade (where I got to participate this year carrying the signboard of my cousins dancing school, I was so proud!). It`s so much fun to see all the people in the parades, hearing the music and seeing all the talented children demonstrating their hobbies and their skills. Lot`s of action!
# 4: cakes, sausages and ice-cream!
What else is there so say? On this day, we get to eat as much cake, ice-cream and “stuff” as we want! Maximum happiness for some children (and adults)! This is my version of a Norwegian cake (I made this for my mothers birthday, but it is a perfect example how it could look like on this day too). Below: my little girl all happy about her ice-cream!
# 5: the Norwegian flag!
Fortunately, out flag is not associated with any negative happenings in the history of time. Therefor, we are very lucky to be able to wave our flag and be proud of our nationality without having it confused by “nationalism” or being arrogant. So, we wave and hoist them flags with lots of enthusiasm!
# 6: will it rain?
Ok, so this is not actually an activity, but somehow it is. The big question on this day is always: “will it rain”? So, we talk about it and prepare for the worst case scenario: lot`s of rain! That`s what turns it into an activity. If you have ever been to Norway, you will understand why the weather is so important for us. We live very close to nature and it`s a very big deal how the weather is going to be on May 17. This year I got lucky, almost no rain!! Yayy!
Thank you, family, for making this day such a special one for me and my girl – we love you to the moon and back and we will never forget this May 17, 2017!
Hipp, hipp, HURRA!
Dare to make your dreams come true – the journey starts with a single step!
– Charlotte –