Oslo, 17 May 2022 (TDI): Norway celebrates its Constitution Day, every year on May 17th, and it is an official national holiday for the people of Norway.

The day is referred to as ‘Syttende Mai’ among the Norwegians which means May Seventeenth.

More to this, it is also referred to as  Nasjonaldagen meaning National Day, or Grunnlovsdagen which means Constitution Day.

History of Norway’s Constitution Day

After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway’s Constitution was signed declaring the country a Kingdom independent of Sweden.

The signing took place at the Eidsvoll Manor House which is considered one of Norway’s most symbolic markers of national pride. Therefore, it was the official starting of the country’s path to independence.

Thus, the constitution was founded on French and American models, and the Crown Prince of Denmark and Norway, Christian Frederick was elected as the King.

However, full independence was not accomplished until 1905 on the 7th of June and the 17th of May is still Norway’s National Day.

Between 1820 and 1829 the celebration of the day was banned because of King Karl Johan of Sweden’s order when both nations were still united. Thereby, celebrations of the day became popular in 1833.

This happened when Henrik Wergeland, a writer, provided a speech publicly on Constitution Day whilst honoring the heritage of Norway at Opposition Minister Christian Krohg’s memorial service.

In addition to this, the parliament of Norway held the May 17th first celebration in 1836. Consequently, from that time, May 17th is regarded as the national day.

Celebrations

Despite variations in celebrations, all of them follow the pattern of tradition that make the day centered on children. Thus, there are children’s processions led by the school band marching through the local community.

Also, the route is lined by enthusiastic onlookers with children waving their small Norwegian flags. Following the procession, there is entertainment, games, film shows, and plenty of ice cream and hot dogs.

The association of the Constitution Day with children started in 1864. Additionally, since 1906, the Royal Family gather on the balcony in Oslo at the Royal Palace and wave to the marching children.

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