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Norway’s national day

Hurray! It’s 17 May
Children’s parades, marching bands, traditional costumes, and ice cream. A lot of ice cream. The celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day is a party like no other.
Children’s parade in front of the Royal Palace in Oslo
17 May in Oslo.
Photo: Tomasz Majewski / VisitOslo

Brazilians have their carnival, the Irish Saint Patrick’s Day. Norway’s answer? On 17 May we are commemorating the signing of the constitution on that date in 1814. In Norway, the Constitution Day is huge.

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Children’s parades then take place across the country, and led by marching bands they walk through their communities. The largest of the traditional parades attract tens of thousands of people waving flags and shouting “hurra!”. In Oslo, the parade is greeted by the royal family who are waving tirelessly to the crowds from the Royal Palace balcony.

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17 May breakfast
17 May breakfast.
Photo: Merethe Foap / Visitnorway.com

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The russ have their own parades, with buses and vans with expensive and rather loud sound systems. Ask them for a “russekort”, and you will get their personal calling card containing personal info and more or less funny jokes.

This is a truly special time to be in Norway, and you should join the locals in their celebration. And whilst most shops and offices are closed that day, you should definitely book a table in advance if you want to go out for lunch or dinner.

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Find a restaurant near you

17 May is a big day for restaurants in Norway. Many Norwegians celebrate by going out to eat. It is therefore wise to make reservations if you plan to eat out this day. 

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