How to Celebrate the National Day in Norway – 17th of May

May 14, 2018 • 3 min read

How to Celebrate the National Day in Norway – 17th of May

How to celebrate the national day in Norway – 17th of May. In 1814, on the 17th of May, Norway’s chosen king at the time, Christian Frederik, signed the petition for the declaration of Norway and releasing the 400-year-old domination from Denmark. The pact with Sweden, signed earlier the same year, lasted until 1905, when Norway finally became entirely independent. This is how the Norwegians celebrate the 17th of May and King Christian Frederik.


The national day is a day that usually starts early with a “17th of May breakfast”, which often consists of a potluck with friends and neighbours. Fresh bread, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, and champagne are among the usual items seen on this National day breakfast. This early breakfast is highly recommended to last the whole day because a lot is going on.


A pro tip for anyone celebrating the national day in Norway is to dress up. A lot of people wear traditional costumes, and the rest dress up appropriately. If you can’t get a hold of traditional clothing, try to blend in by matching the Norwegian colours, Blue, red, and white. The Norwegians highly appreciate the effort spent on dressing up accordingly, so try to impress them!

You might also want to consider bringing an umbrella; standing out in the rain all day is no fun if you’re wet.

Children’s Parade 

And so it begins… The parade is organized all over Norway, and large crowds are attracted, and therefore to be expected. Marching bands lead the parades, and the people are following with flags yelling “Hurra!” and “Gratulerer med dagen”. The parade in Oslo is greeted by the Royal family, waving from their terrace.


Ice cream, hot dogs, and some more ice cream is the usual diet on this day. Forget Beach 2018 for a day, and enjoy yourself! If you are thinking about eating at a restaurant, make sure to book far in advance and keep in mind that most shops and restaurants are closed. So make sure you’ve got a plan for the day.

Don’t drive!

Unless you have to use your car, don’t! A lot of roads are closed off due to the parades, and people are EVERYWHERE. This is a folk fest, very precious to Norway, so go with the flow and enjoy the parade and celebration locally.

Follow these pointers, and you’ll have a great time in Norway on the 17th of May!

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Natalie O Founder We have the pleasure of creating memories for and together with our guests. A privilege to say the least! view all posts by Natalie