We celebrate May 17th in our home as we have Norwegian ancestry. So what is it? Apart from being the day to eat lots of sugary Norwegian cakes and drink 40% alcohol, it is the day that celebrates Norway adopting it’s constitution in 1814. There are lots of children’s processions, bands, and flag waving. Celebrations vary from place to place, but generally follow a traditional pattern, making it a day for the children. School bands lead processions of children waving flags all over Norway. The routes are lined with enthusiastic onlookers also waving flags. Afterwards there are games and entertainment with lots of hot dogs and ice creams. Most people wear their smart clothes, but it has become more and more popular to wear national dress, the bunad. Every region has its own version, making this a lovely spectacle. Deserts and cakes are a very important part of the day, and here I tend to make traditional waffles served with raspberry jam, krumkaker (rolled up thin cakes made with a special iron), and kransekake (a tall biscuit like cake made of stacked up rings that has an almond taste to it). Oh, and the poor dog gets decorated too 🙂
The 17th May also celebrates the end of school for those in their last year. They wear colourful overalls, decorate vans and buses, paint them, play loud music, and generally get up to a lot of antics and have a lot of fun.
We ourselves, hold a little party with food and drink, put our flag out, and consume far too much sugar and aquavit…..a traditional oak matured Norwegian spirit, 40%, and kept in the freezer. It blows your head off!!