Celebrating Norway's National Day

I know, I've been a bit absent from the blog again. Second time I have a cold this month which is just absolutely annoying. Anyway, I wanted to write about the 17th May before May is actually over so let's get this started :)

Norway's National Day, celebrated on May 17, is a HUGE deal here and people dress up, grab a flag and go participate in a parade around town. Now this may doesn't sound very exciting but it was actually quite fun to experience - especially as we don't really celebrate our national day in Germany. Waving the German flag isn't really a normal thing to do outside Soccer World Championship so given the opportunity to dress in blue, red, white and act like a local, I went all out - aka bought a flag and joined the crowds in town.

On May 17, every town and every village around Norway has its own parade. Men wear suits and women wear bunads - traditional Norwegian customes, and people meet to participate in or watch the parade. In bigger towns, there are actually a couple of parades - in Tromso there was for example one for the high school graduates of town, one for the children and one for local organizations and clubs. And in Oslo, the Royal Family has to stand on the Palace's balcony and wave at the parade of school children from every school in the city for several hours.

As the National Day is quite a long and exciting day, you have to eat a lot of food to survive it. Meeting friends for a 17th May champagne breakfast seems to be quite common and I wish I had been able to do that - instead I had a hangover from the night before. Turns out drinking the night before and being woken by march music isn't exactly a nice start to celebrate Norway's National Day but I managed by eating ice-cream and pölse - hot dogs - which apparently is the traditional food of the day. You wouldn't expect otherwise from a country where a certain pizza brand I shall not name here, can be said to be the national dish...

Alcohol on the other hand is not allowed to be consumed in public in Norway which I still find pretty weird as a German. I mean, what's a summer afternoon at the beach without a beer? Also our parades for carnival or other occasions always include alcohol and not just a little... Anyway, let's just say, restaurants and bars all over town were quite crowded and I bet, they made a great part of their yearly income on that day...

To flee the hustle and bustle of town in between parade-watching a bit, the boyfriend and I spent some time on board of the Hurtigruten cruise ship. You see, whenever the ship is in town (everyday from 2.30pm to 6.30pm) you can go on board for free, eat in the canteen or sun-bathe on deck. It's quite nice of them to say the least and it definitely made me reminisce my trips with Hurtigruten in 2013.

It was a lovely day and even though it was quite difficult to get a place in the first row, I managed to get some nice pictures from the parade. Next year though, I'm gonna try not to preparty on May 16 and have a champagne breakfast instead!

 How is your country's / adoptive country's national day celebrated?