Constitution Day in Norway in 2020

  How long until Constitution Day?
This holiday next takes place in 217 days.
  Dates of Constitution Day in Norway
2021 Norway Mon, May 17 National Holiday
2020 Norway Sun, May 17 National Holiday
2019 Norway Fri, May 17 National Holiday
2018 Norway Thu, May 17 National Holiday
2017 Norway Wed, May 17 National 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.
  Local name
Syttende Mai

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 Constitution Day

Norway introduced salmon sushi to Japan. Salmon wasn't used in sushi in Japan until it was suggested by a Norwegian delegation in the 1980s.

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

Oslo is the third most northerly capital city of an independent country, with only Reykjavik, Iceland, and Helsinki, Finland being closer to the North Pole.

More facts about Constitution Day

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