Syttende Mai – Norway’s National Day

Syttende Mai – Norway’s National Day
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Have you heard about Syttende Mai, Norway’s National Day?

The 17th of May (or  “syttende mai” in Norwegian) is Norway’s National day, It  is a day of celebration commemorating Norwegian independence from Swedish rule, which took place on the 17  May 1814.

What is especially unique with Norway’s National day is that it is a non-military celebration, that focuses on families, children, traditional wear and above all the royal family. It is a day of patriotic pride that is not only exclusive to ethnic Norwegians, but rather inclusive of the diversity that reflects the country’s populous.

Norway’s National Day

What to expect and experience during syttende mai, Norway’s National day celebrations.

  1. All people are in a great mood, the people in the streets greet you with a smile.  It’s hard to put into words, but the joy they carry reflects their pride and it’s highly contagious.
    Norway’s National Day
  2. Flags, flags and more amazing flags! Almost all the people are carrying flags with them, whether they are Norwegians or not. (You’ll be amazed to see a sea of Norwegian flags, hanging from houses, buildings and carried or worn as pendants.)Norway’s National Day
  3. Everyone greets “Happy birthday Norway”, “Gratulerer med dagen Norge” and “ Happy 17th of May!”
  4. Everyone is dressed beautifully on the 17th of May. Norwegian women wear their Bunads, their national dress and the men wear traditional suites that reflect national traditional styles. No worries if you don’t have the traditional clothes for Norway’s national day, just dressing nice will suffice.

Norway’s National Day

5. One of the cutest aspects of the 17th of May is when the schools parade different class grades through the cities.  In Oslo, this parade will pass in the front of the king's palace.

Norway’s National Day

6. Seeing the Royal family is not just for the kids. Syttende mai is the best day to see the Royal family in person. The King and Queen of Norway, and other members of the royal family will be watching and waving at the long line of parades. Norway’s National Day 

Norway’s National Day

7. On the 17th of May, children get a day of yum yum and lots ice cream and chocolate fun! It’s one of the favorite days for kids because they can eat unlimited chocolates, candies and ice cream. (Oh and adults are included!)

8. Norway’s National day should also be known as the delicious cake day since it is common to have cake and coffee with friends and family. The cakes are usually decorated with their Norwegian flag or flag colors. Oh, and they’re hmm hmmm so good!

Norway’s National day

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Norway’s National Day

9. It’s the last day of Russ (Russefeiring). They are the graduating high school students who party in 4 weeks before their final exams.

Norway’s National Day

10. The landscapes in the city are beautifully prepared, and in this time of the year, the flowers are in full bloom too. This makes the city looks even more stunning.

Norway’s National Day


So, stay in Norway on its national day! It is the best day to experience Norway’s culture and Norwegians extra friendly mood.

Now you have an idea how Norway celebrates their National day. How about in your country, do you celebrate it too as much as they do here in Norway? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Norway’s National Day

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  • Aisha Niang

    I want a day of yum yum too!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      LoL 😉

  • Wow! Never heard of this – seems great! I love parades too 🙂

    • Crizzy Kiss

      I never heard of it until I come to Norway too! 😉

  • OMG that little Norway flag cake, omg sooooo coool! Looks like a great day 🙂

    Crystal recently posted… Budget Guide: Japan

    • Crizzy Kiss

      It is! Thanks for dropping by! 😉

  • Jessica

    One of the countries I missed when I lived for six months in Denmark. Hoping to visit Norway next year on its national day and experience this wonderful celebration.

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Too bad, you were so close. But it’s okay, there’s always another time to visit! 😉

  • How much fun does this look! The flag cake is too adorable! I’ll be adding this now to my bucket list! XO

    Anna || A Lily Love Affair

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Yes, definitely a must experience! 😉

  • Nancy Pitman

    You were there at the perfect time. What a celebration! And with food too!

  • I’ve never heard of this celebration, but it sounds like a great time to be there! Parade, cake and smiles… I’m sold!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      You’ll feel like people just got freedom, Lol! 😉

  • Carol

    We missed it by a week when we toured Scandinavia in 2014. But I agree that it is the best time because all the flowers are in bloom!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Yeah, it’s amazing to think that just a couple of weeks ago, the leaves had just started to come out then suddenly after 2 weeks, flowers are already in bloom! 😉

  • Nathan Aguilera

    Gorgeous! I would love to be here for this celebrations one day. It looks like so much fun.

  • Great pictures! That looks like a fun celebration full of delicious food and great people. I need to go one year!

  • Kassi M.

    It really sounds like a great time! I have a good friend from Norway that I’m sure is celebrating today!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Sure thing! 😉

  • Dani

    I did Finland, Sweden but didn’t do Norway. I can see they are as proud of their flag as swedes 🙂 Beautiful countries

    • Crizzy Kiss

      I totally agree! 😉

  • We are thinking about a trip to Norway. In fact, we were just discussing it a few hours ago! How fun this looks!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Haha, that’s good sign that you should visit Norway! 😉

  • A Datsev

    Great post! What a nice way to celebrate families, children, and national traditions.

  • Nicole Cochingco Escat

    This sounds like a super fun time. The cake looks fabulous.

  • Lee

    Love the photos! And, all the info. I can’t wait to visit Norway.

  • This is the first time I’ve heard of Syttende Mai. It’s always awesome to celebrate independence day, and I’m sure this is a super fun celebration with all the food, cake and the costumes!