Norway's Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and an official national holiday observed on 17 May each year. City, town and village streets across the country are filled with flag-waving, ice cream-eating crowds who parade informally around their local neighbourhood ending up at a local landmark. In Oslo more than 100,000 people converge on the main street Karl Johan to join a parade led by a brass band orchestra which marches past the royal palace where they are saluted by the Norwegian royal household. Parades are often led by children's schools and other organizations. There is little or no military involvement in the parades, making this very much the people's celebration. National costume has made a strong resurgence in Norway in the last twenty years and is now worn by up to 30% of the population on special celebration days such as 17 May. This creates a spectacular visual backdrop to the parades as the costumes are highly decorative and individual to their local area.
The parades are concentrated on the first half of the day. From around 4:00 pm, high school graduates have their own parades which usually include satirical costumes and placards, as well as live music performances. Parades are usually largest in urban areas and so Norwegian cities will offer the best chance of experiencing a large parade.
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On 17 May, Norwegians all over the world get together to celebrate their culture, country and constitution.
Constitution Day or Norway Day
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