Impressions from Norway's National Day in Stavanger

For those of you who don't know how Norway's National Day is celebrated, let me tell you: it's a big deal! Every year on May 17th, people dress up and meet their family and friends for a whole day of watching parades and eating tons of hot dogs and ice-cream!

This is my fourth year of living in Norway and you should think that Norway's National Day isn't a big deal for me anymore, except that this year was the first one I got to spend in my new home of Stavanger! Having spent it in cold and rainy (and one year even snowy) Tromsø in previous years, I had high hopes of lovely weather and warm temperatures for the day - which, except for the coastal wind, was a wish come true!


Simon and I invited friends over for the traditional May 17th champagne breakfast while watching the Oslo parade on TV, and then later went to town to watch the people's parade there. 

I have to admit, I'm not getting too excited about the parades anymore, to be honest. It's pretty much the same every year and the Stavanger parade took a whole one and a half hours - exhausting!! The atmosphere in the city centre was absolutely lovely, though, and I really enjoyed being a part of it!

I took some candid snaps with my small camera over the course of the day - nothing fancy - that I hope will give you a good impression of what Norway's National Day is like in Stavanger!

Make sure to share the post if you enjoy it and let me know in the comments if you've ever celebrated Norway's National Day before, and where!

 First things first: food!

First things first: food!

 I've recently heard that champagne breakfasts are only for 20-somethings and people without kids - well, that's us!

I've recently heard that champagne breakfasts are only for 20-somethings and people without kids - well, that's us!

 I made lemon-blueberry tarts for the occasion :)

I made lemon-blueberry tarts for the occasion :)

 ... and then I made cake for the day after from the leftover lemon-cream - yum!

... and then I made cake for the day after from the leftover lemon-cream - yum!

 But enough of the food now! If you're visiting Norway on May 17th, you'll literally see the Norwegian flag everywhere you go!

But enough of the food now! If you're visiting Norway on May 17th, you'll literally see the Norwegian flag everywhere you go!

 I know I said enough of the food but who am I kidding? Eating hot dogs and ice-cream when you're out and about is a tradition after all!

I know I said enough of the food but who am I kidding? Eating hot dogs and ice-cream when you're out and about is a tradition after all!

 So is getting your picture taken in your fancy dress ;)

So is getting your picture taken in your fancy dress ;)

 People traditionally wear their folk costume (called "bunad") on May 17th and every region in Norway has its own particular kind. If you don't have a bunad, you can just wear your nicest dress/suit and get a ribbon in the Norway colours to pin to the left side of your chest to show your love for the country!

People traditionally wear their folk costume (called "bunad") on May 17th and every region in Norway has its own particular kind. If you don't have a bunad, you can just wear your nicest dress/suit and get a ribbon in the Norway colours to pin to the left side of your chest to show your love for the country!

 Breiavatnet in the city centre looking gorgeous in spring!

Breiavatnet in the city centre looking gorgeous in spring!

 More flags...

More flags...

 I love the hairbands that some costumes come with - so gorgeous!

I love the hairbands that some costumes come with - so gorgeous!

 Even the little ones dress for the occasion!

Even the little ones dress for the occasion!

 While most costumes I've seen in Northern Norway are green or blue, Western Norway costumes seem to be predominantly black and white...

While most costumes I've seen in Northern Norway are green or blue, Western Norway costumes seem to be predominantly black and white...

 ... and sometimes red!

... and sometimes red!

 As the folk costume is made of wool, it's pretty warm and perfect on a day like this when it's still a bit chilly in the air!

As the folk costume is made of wool, it's pretty warm and perfect on a day like this when it's still a bit chilly in the air!

 How cute is this little fella?!!

How cute is this little fella?!!

 The lovely white houses of the city centre dressed for the occasion!

The lovely white houses of the city centre dressed for the occasion!

 The "colour street" of Stavanger (Fargegaten) is even more colourful on May 17th :)

The "colour street" of Stavanger (Fargegaten) is even more colourful on May 17th :)

 How gorgeous is this city?!

How gorgeous is this city?!

 And that's a wrap!

And that's a wrap!


Have you ever celebrated May 17th in Norway?
 

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