Norway day – the 17th of May – is celebrated as it was the day Norway got its constitution, back in 1814.
It is the busiest day of the year for Norway’s king – a whole day of waving is intense.
17th May is the final day of ‘russetid’ – graduation time for students. 3 weeks of solid partying, all culminating on the morning of 17th May.
17th of May is the day Norwegians eat the most ice cream (if it is sunny) – up to 10 times the average amount for a sunny spring day.
During WW2 it was forbidden to parade for 17th of May. It was also forbidden to wear the Norwegian flag’s colours on one’s clothes – contributing to its importance as a symbol of Norway’s freedom ever since.
Marching bands are an important part of the parades – and marching band is the second most popular past time among Norwegian children (surpassed only by football).
It is a national holiday, but since the 18th is not, the celebrations start early – Champagne breakfast at 7am is common, so you have time to eat and drink in time to watch the main parade starting around 10am (varies regionally).
And an extra one – remember to say congratulations to every Norwegian you see.