17th Of May – Norway’s National Day


Two Saturday’s ago I got up at 6 o’clock in the morning, mostly because I was still yetlagged, but also because I was super excited to be in Norway for my first 17th of May in four years! It has always been my second favorite holiday of the year (after Christmas); probably because I was a band geek for 8 years of my life and used to do baton twirling in the parades. Now I just watch, but it’s still almost as fun.

It is also one of the few times a year that I get to wear my Bunad, a Norwegian traditional dress dating back to the 18th and 19th century. The style you were normally signifies where in the country your family is from. Oh, and it is incredibly warm and incredibly expensive!
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After getting ready I started the morning with a champagne breakfast at Madelen’s place before we walked downtown to watch the parades. There are two of them, one at 10:30 and one at 4 pm. The first one has every school in town along with both junior and main marching bands. The second is for every organization that wants to participate, which includes everything from karate to theatre to soccer. And, of course, more marching bands. And in between the parades you eat as many ice creams and hot dogs as you can stomach while visiting the travelling funfair.

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At the end of the day I went to my brother’s place to spend the night. I would normally go out, but my niece’s christening was the next morning and I didn’t think I should be hung over while carrying her up to the priest. ;)

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