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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Gratulerer med dagen!

Sunshine and even some record-breaking warm temperatures got Norway’s 17th of May celebrations off to a bright start for Norwegians around most of the country this year. Flags were flying under clear blue skies, from Sørlandet in the south to Nordland up north, and not least in Trondheim.

Flags hoisted around the main square in Trondheim flew under clear blue skies Friday morning.

It’s Norway’s most festive day of the year, when Norwegians celebrate not only their constitution from 1814 but also their democracy and their freedom. That’s become even more important after Russia invaded Ukraine two years ago, and Norwegians were reminded of how they also were invaded and under occupation during World War II.

Trondheim’s monument to those who formed and wrote Norway’s constitution in Eidsvoll 210 years ago was one of the many places where wreaths were laid in Trondheim Friday morning. Sara Shafighi, a member of Trondheim’s city government, stressed that freedom is not a gift and constantly needs to defended. Towering in the background, the Nidaros Cathedral. has often traveled around the country to cover 17th of May celebrations in various cities including Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Kirkenes in Finnmark, Haugesund and, last year, in a cold and rainy Bergen. Local traditions and celebrations vary, and this year we’re in Trondheim, rich in Viking history and home to Scandinavia’s only medieval cathedral, Nidarosdomen.

17th of May celebrations traditionally begin with wreath-laying ceremonies at local monuments, like this one to civilian victims of World War II. It’s also located near the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

We’ll be coming back with more photos from key events that begin later in the day in Trondheim than in many other towns and cities around Norway. Parades in Haugesund and Bergen, for example, started as early as 6am, while in Oslo the huge children’s parade starts at 10am. In Trondheim the schools’ flag parade also begins shortly before 10am, then comes a “People’s Parade” in Trondheim just after 1pm, followed by music and speeches.

The celebrations all have lots in common, though: Plenty of flags and the enthusiastic greeting Gratulerer med dagen, literally, Congratulations with the day!

ALL PHOTOS: Møst Berglund



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