The 17th of May commemorates the signing of the Norwegian constitution and is certainly considered cause for celebration by Norwegians all over the globe.

The following are some of the common 17th of May traditions:

1. Eating ice cream

A favourite among Norwegians of all ages. Ice cream is eaten throughout the entire day, and is common even in cake form.

2. Watching the parades or ´trains´

The Children´s Parade, or ´barnetoget´, occurs at mid-day and consists of school age children in traditional costumes marching through the streets to the delight of large excited crowds. The children are followed by their eldest counterpart, Russ students celebrating their final year of high school and throwing out Russ cards to be collected by younger students. Later in the afternoon is the ´borgertoget´, or Citizen´s Parade. Both trains are considered highlights of the day.

A young boy collects Russ cards

3. Family gatherings

No 17th of May is complete without the extended family coming together to celebrate.

4. Wearing a bunad

A bunad is Norway´s traditional garb. Each region of Norway has it´s own unique form of the bunad, in which men wear a buttoned-jacket, rolled up pants and thick knitted socks while women don a shirt layered with a dress, jewellery and crown.

Vestfold Bunad

5. Exclaiming, ´hipp hipp hurra!´

Heard all through the streets on 17th of may by Norwegians young and old.

6. Eating sausages

A classic Constitution Day snack, grills all across the country sizzle with sausages to feed the masses.

7. Doning a flag

Of course, the Norwegian flag is most common to see, but flags of immigrants living in Norway are also set out in order to show respect.


8. Watching celebrations around the globe on TV

17th of May is not only celebrated in Norway, but around the world. Norwegians everywhere send in pictures of their ode to the special day which are then televised all over the country.

9. Eating spekemat

Also eaten at christmas time, this salted and dried meat fills the plates of hungry Norwegians.


10. ´Gratulerer med dagen´

Literally meaning ´congratulations with the day!´. This expression is also said on birthdays

11.. Drinking beer

Tuborg, Carlsberg, Ringnes, craft beers, you name it, Norwegians will be drinking it on 17th of may.

12. Watching speeches in the park

After the Children´s Parade comes speeches by the Parade leaders, poems read by school children and singing of National songs.


Thanks for reading and hipp hipp hurra!



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