Video: Earlier cheers on the 17th of May

SEE THE VIDEO: Country, colours, ceremony and cheer – that’s what Norway’s Constitution Day celebrations on the 17th of May are usually all about. Everything is different this year, because of the Corona crisis, so we put together a look at earlier celebrations that also show why the 17th of May is so important, and […]

A ‘different’ May 17th remained festive

SEE THE PHOTOS: This year’s celebration of Norway’s annual Constitution Day holiday on the 17th of May will go down in history for its cancelled parades, scaled-down ceremonies and Corona virus-induced social distancing. It remained festive in the capital, though, as Norwegians made the best of a difficult situation. Spirits were definitely raised when the […]

Royals went on display after all

After weeks of announcements that the royal family wouldn’t be waving to the masses as usual on the 17th of May, King Harald V and some of his closest family members made an appearance anyway. Then they set off on a surprise drive around Oslo in open vintage cars, including a swing through the grounds of […]

Secrets swirled around the 17th

UPDATED: Norway’s most important holiday of the year was heading into the history books as Norwegians prepared for their strangest 17th of May ever. No one even knew where King Harald V would be spending the Corona-hit holiday that celebrates Norway’s constitution and independence, as events were kept secret to keep crowds from gathering. With […]

Parades cancelled on the 17th of May

The cities of Oslo and Stavanger have both felt compelled to cancel their large and traditional parades that celebrate Norway’s constitution and hard-won independence on the 17th of May. It’s a huge blow to national prestige, but deemed necessary during the Corona virus crisis. “This has historic dimensions,” declared the somber leader of Oslo’s 17th […]

Porsgrunn first to cancel 17th of May

Norway’s southern city of Porsgrunn became the first on Thursday to cancel its annual and festive Constitution Day celebrations on the 17th of May. More may follow, as the Corona virus crisis that’s shut down most of the country also threatens to spoil Norwegians’ most cherished day of the year. “We felt like we didn’t […]

‘Perfect’ weather for the 17th of May

The sun was shining or at least peeking out from Kirkenes in the north to Kristiansand in the south for Norway’s Constitution Day celebrations on the 17th of May. Traditional parades, outdoor dancing, concerts and other special events were on tap all over the country. Celebrations started as early as 6am in some communities but […]

Security to be high on 17th of May

Norwegian police in small towns as well as the country’s cities will be armed, many for the first time, when Norway celebrates its Constitution Day on the 17th of May. Researchers are unsure whether Norwegians will feel safer or be offended by the sight of guns, even in discreet holsters. “I think it’s fine,” one […]

Resurgent economy fueled celebrations

HAUGESUND: Residents of this windy West Coast city turned out by the thousands to celebrate Norway’s national day on Thursday. Towering in the background was a huge new locally-assembled drilling rig that may well have boosted celebrants’ spirits this year as they smiled, sang and shouted hurra. Norwegians all over the country celebrate their freedom […]

Rowing is part of patriotic tradition

HAUGESUND: 17th of May celebrations can include some unique local traditions around Norway. In the West Coast city of Haugesund, not far from the historic Viking settlement at Avaldnes on Karmøy, rowing is a big part of the program. “Competitive rowing on Smedasundet (the sound through Haugesund’s downtown area) is Haugesund’s oldest tradition,” proclaims the […]