Norway Constitution Day around the world in 2020

  How long until Norway Constitution Day?
This holiday next takes place in 161 days.
  Dates of Norway Constitution Day around the world
2021 NorwayMay 17
Norway Mon, May 17National Holiday
2020 NorwayMay 17
Norway Sun, May 17National Holiday
2019 NorwayMay 17
Norway Fri, May 17National Holiday
2018 NorwayMay 17
Norway Thu, May 17National Holiday
2017 NorwayMay 17
Norway Wed, May 17National Holiday
  Summary
Norway's National Day marks the adoption of the Constitution which declared the country as a kingdom independent of Sweden on May 17th 1814.

When is Constitution Day in Norway?

The Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday each year on May 17th.

Among Norwegians, the day is referred to as 'Syttende Mai' (simply meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (National Day) or less commonly, Grunnlovsdagen (Constitution Day).

History of Constitution Day in Norway

Following the Napoleonic Wars, Norway's Constitution, which declared the country as a kingdom independent of Sweden was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17th 1814. The constitution was based on American and French models, and elected the Crown Prince of Denmark and Norway, Christian Frederick, as the king.

While full independence was not achieved until June 7th 1905, May 17th remains Norway's National Day.

Celebrating the day was banned between 1820 and 1829 at the order of King Karl Johan of Sweden, while the two nations were united.

Celebrating the day gained popularity in 1833 when the writer Henrik Wergeland gave a public speech on Constitution Day honouring Norwegian heritage at the memorial service of the opposition minister Christian Krohg, who had died five years earlier.

The Norwegian parliament held the first May 17th celebration in 1836, and since then on May 17th has been regarded as the national day.

The May 17th celebrations vary across Norway, but they all follow a traditional pattern that makes this a day centred on the children.

The highlights are the children’s processions, made up of school classes marching through the local community, led by the school band. Most children have their own small Norwegian flag to wave, and the route is lined with enthusiastic onlookers.

After the procession, there are games, entertainments and film shows, and plenty of hot dogs and ice cream.

Constitution Day’s association with children began in 1864 when author Bjornstjerne Bjornson, who wrote the national anthem, suggested staging a parade just for primary school pupils, representing Norway’s bright future.

The first children’s processions were duly arranged in 1870. Since 1906, the Royal Family have gathered on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Oslo to wave to the children marching by.

Change your Hue lights to celebrate Syttende Mai!

Did you know?

Three facts about Norway Constitution Day

Allemannsretten, which translates to "every man’s right" is the law of the land. It allows anyone to camp anywhere in Norway at any time, for up to three days. You are even allowed to camp on private property, as long as you are not close to buildings or agricultural fields.

At 24.5 km (15.3 miles) long, The Lærdal Tunnel is the world's longest road tunnel.

The first polar bear in Britain arrived in the 13th century as a gift from King Haakon IV of Norway to Henry III. Henry kept it at the Tower of London and let it swim on the end of a rope in the Thames. Nowadays the more practical gift from Norway to Britain is the Christmas Tree that is erected at Trafalgar Square each year.

More facts about Norway Constitution Day

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