|May 17: Norwegian Constitution Day Celebration and Parade.|
| [17.05.2009, 09:05am, Sun. GMT]|
|Every year on 17 May celebrations vary from place to place, but usually follow a traditional pattern that makes this the highlight of the year for most Norwegian children. A must in the celebrations are the children processions, made up of school classes marching with the school band through the local community. Most of the children carry small Norwegian flags and the route is lined with enthusiastic onlookers. Dressed in their best,the children then engage in games and activities,and for many this is the one day of the year when the supply of ice cream and hot dogs is endless.|
Most people dress in their best spring clothes, with a Norwegian flag or 17 May ribbon pinned to their lapel. It has become increasingly popular to wear the natinal dress,the bunad, on this occasion. The bunads varies in appearance from region to region and the magnificent sight of national costumes from all over the country is one of the reasons why this day truly represents a celebration of Norwegian tradition and history.
May is the month when spring really blooms in Norway,and this influences the menu chosen for the day. While hot dogs and ice cream are popular with the children, the adult population often stick to cured meats, sausages, traditional sour cream porridge and many throw barbeques. Desserts and cakes are a must,and many schools and families give breakfast parties before the procession starts.
The "russ" celebration - ending 13 years of school
The 17 May is also the day pupils in their last year of upper secondary school celebrate the end of 13 years of school, even though many still have to pass final exams. They call themselves "russ" and illustrate their standing through colourful overalls depenging on their line of study. High spirits are the norm and the festivities usually last day and night. Many transport themselves around town in self-decorated buses and vans with slogas and booming music.
17 May outside Norway
Norwegin and people with Norwegian roots living abroad also celebrate Norway's Constitution day. Many Norwegian seamen churches, embassies, students associations and other Norwegian institutions arrange 17th of May processions, receptions and parties.
Norway adopted it's Constitution in 1814 and it is event that is celebrated 17 May. The Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, held the first 17 May celebrations in 1836, and from then on the day was regarded as the nation day. The first children's procession was held in 1870. Since 1906, the Royal Family have gathered on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Oslo to wave to the children marching by.