17 of May is the Norwegian national day where we celebrate the constitution from 1814. It is celebrated in a different way compared to many other countries where they don’t put that much emphasis on their national day and it is mostly celebrated in the capitals of their country. In Norway, the whole population takes part in the celebration from Kristiansand in the south to Alta in the north and it is a special day where people are spending time outside, participating in various activities, eating a lot of ice cream and sausages, and spending time with their friends and family. It was an unusual sight the first time I celebrated this day in Norway because it is very different from what we do in my home country, but after over 10 years in Norway I now celebrate it like it would have been my native country.
This 17. of May we celebrated in Stavanger where we live. We are not so happy about getting up early in the morning so we missed the morning activities, but we could follow what had happened on national television when we got up around 11 o’clock. We had a nice breakfast and our morning coffee and after a while we started to get dressed. We went out around 2 o’clock and headed towards Stavanger centrum. There was a lot of people outside like it always is and a lot of children playing around. We went to Hanekam which is a nice place in Fargegaten (a street where all the houses have different colors) and had a glass of champagne. In Hanekam everyone were dressed in bunad which is a traditional national dress that people were specially on 17. of May but also in other special occasions. For those who does not own a bunad it is normal to wear a dress. Bunad is quite costly and not everyone is in possession of a bunad.
After sitting and enjoying the glass of champagne we went to a restaurant called Egon to have quesadilla. It was a lot of people waiting to get in so we had to get in the line and wait for almost 20 minutes before we got in. Actually, we got in a little bit earlier than we were supposed to since I know the manager of Egon and he gave a nice table. The service was amazing. Egon is a very popular restaurant in Norway and the food is delicious.
After finishing our meal we went outside to see folketoget which is a tradition where people are going in a line with all kinds of activities. It was a lot of people watching them. Besides, it was a cruise ship anchored in the city and many turists were visiting Norway for the occasion.
I love cultures and I think it is fun to learn about the different ones. For you who have never been in Norway it is worth to take a trip to experience the national day. For this year it is too late, but you have the possibility next year or one time in the future. I hope you liked my information about our national day and the culture.
I hope that you have enjoyed your weekend and that you have charged your soul for a new week.
See you soon!