Oslo during Norwegian independence day

Kai Bonsaksen | Live the World

November 23, 2022

When the spring is coming and the cold is over, it is time to celebrate Norwegian independence on May 17th. This date represents when Norway got its constitution ready in 1814, and Christian Frederik was crowned the new king of an independent Norway!

What do we actually do on this day?

What we do on this prideful day is go to the local school or community house and eat ice cream. If you ask a kid, that’s what they want to do - try to eat as much ice cream as he can. We wave flags, play games, football, and eat hot dogs. All this is done in a suit or a Bunad. A Bunad is traditional to wear for Norwegians. It’s more common for girls to wear it while guys wear a suit. These things can be really expensive, so, it's regarded as a status symbol to have one.

Picture © Credits to Wikipedia/Nasjonalbiblioteket
Picture © Credits to Wikipedia/Sesse

The parade

We walk in a parade around the city and the school classes represent each other, the swimming team, the athletic teams, the unions, the libraries, and any individual who wants to. The parade starts from Akershus fortress at 10.00 am and move through Karl Johan street, to the King's castle, and ends at the Nobel peace prize centre and the city hall. The whole atmosphere is extravagant and enthusiastic because it is a happy day for Norway

Picture © Credits to Wikimedia/Bjoertvedt

Metaphorical hope and the waving king

The special part about the spring is that it gives new hope and can provide a better way for the future after the dark winter. Karl Johan is the central shopping street of Oslo. This is where all people hang out to talk and communicate. At the castle, people are excited to see the King, and on Karl Johan street, they relax and cool down a bit. Places you want to be are at the King’s castle to see the King wave to the people with his family. Why we still have a king might be because Norway likes him and remembers him showing himself on the 17th of May from my early childhood. A good thing about the Castle area is the huge size that can host all of Oslo.

Picture © Credits to Wikimedia/Ernst Vikne

People look nice and independent

The 17th of May in Oslo is something you really want to see as the whole city is filled with people dressing nicely and cameras all around the city are ready to document all the quirkiness and fun from Norwegian folks. We separated from the Swedes back in the day and although it's not that we don't like the Swedes, it's just that when you grow up and can take care of yourself you don't need parental assistance anymore - the same thing happened to Norway.

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