Celebrating the Constitution


Today Norway is celebrating our Constitution, signed on 17 May 1814. It was at the time considered to be one of the most liberal and radically democratic constitutions in the world. Today it is the second oldest national constitution in Europe, after the Constitution of Poland (1791), still in continuous force. 17 May have been our Nation Day since then. These two photos are from a monument at Dovrefjell. This mountain is in the soul of the nation, and it has inspired musicians and artist for centuries, like Grieg and his Dovregubbens hallThe plaque reads: Agree and faith Dovre falls. Motto in 1814, and still is to day. I hope. We are a small country and I hope this consensus and community will persist in the future, as I think the feeling of unity and influence is important for every country.


There are no military parades in Norway on our National Day. Instead we have childrens parades and school bands, in the cities and in every small community. Now I have to join the celebrations. Have a nice 17 May! Here link to a photo gallery with some old photos from our National Day.




54 thoughts on “Celebrating the Constitution

  1. Have a wonderful celebration of the 200th Anniversary of your Constitution. I know from your previous posts you have concerns about unity and consensus in your homeland. Hopefully this day encourages everyone to celebrate Norway and its history and plan for a great future.


  2. Happy celebrating – very well captured photos… 🙂

    Jeg ved at vores norske broderfolk altid laver en festlig dag – har oplevet det mange gange… 🙂 🙂


    1. Yes, please do. I know you like and know parades, people celebrating and traditional dress. This is something for you. The childrens parades usually starts at 10 in the morning, the peoples parades some places around 13 or later. There are parades everywhere.


  3. Happy Constitution Day. Our constitution is just a baby compared to Norway’s, but hopefully the universal spirit of equality, justice and prosperity lives on, not just written. By the way when you said the monument has become an inspiration for many Norwegian artists, I couldn’t help not to think of this beautiful song I found out years ago, Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker. I know it’s a Christmas song, but still. 🙂


    1. Thanks, Bama. It is incredible you know Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker (My heart doth always wander)! It is a psalm, written in 1732. It is so beautiful that it is often used, at Christmas, in funerals, and in the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and his Crown Princess Mette-Marit in 2001. There performed by Mari Boine, a wonderful singer of the Sámi, indigenous people of the North: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgSad-3qUNs
      By the way, it is the mountain that has inspired so many, I believe the monument is more or less forgotten..


  4. Tillykke med grundlovsdagen, Bente. Hav’ en dejlig fejring af dagen. Hvilket sundhedstegn at det sker uden militærparade ❤
    Mange varme hilsner til dig og Norge,


  5. Hi Bente,
    Hope you had a very happy day! We’re celebrating here in Seattle too. We have the largest Syttende Mai parade in the U.S. There are marching bands and decorated floats and hundreds of people wearing their bunads and Norwegian sweaters, walking and waving Norwegian flags. Even though most of us are second and even third and fourth generation Norwegians we are very proud of our heritage.
    I’m going to a Hawaian Luau tonight and wearing my Setesdal Lusekofte!


    1. Hi Pat, so interesting to hear about the traditions in Seattle. Decorated floats, wow, that is maybe more than what happens here. By the way, don’t get hot in your lusekofte in Luau. It is made for blizzards more than tropical sun you know.


  6. Happy celebration ! I’m strangely impressed by the humble stone monument and the grass-loots people’s procession. = looks almost handmade local practice = may be a reflection of the confidence that your Democracy has the firm loots in the people. (not a pretense of the government)
    Still, something puzzling me is that your “country” refused to meet Dalai Lama and the most prominent man in your country is suggesting that the Chinese government should receive Nobel Piece prize ! ? ? ?


    1. You are absolutely right, our celebration is more or less “handmade”. Of course the traditional costumes cost quite a lot, but the are used often in generations, and what is more important is the “homemade” music and joy. We are celebrating unity, history, and that we can participate in our democracy (but we have got elites lately like other countries). Did you have to mention Dalai Lama? It is a shame, and all of Norway knows it and has critizised it: it is all about money and trade. We have a conservative govenrment now, and for business means more than democratic prinsiples and visions. The Nobel Prize mentioned is not by a prominent man. Rich, yes, but stupid, and with no political influence.


      1. We sell chemicals (like paint I believe), machines and technology, and salmon. ( Export to China 16 billion NKR last year, so it is quite a lot). And the Chinese have bought Norwegian industry, and they want to do mining. One rich chinese just bought a huge property up north to build a touristic place for rich chinese. Trade is important, but I am not sure I like this development.


  7. Gratulerer med dagen Bente … a day late, since I was out in Bergen yesterday and didn’t have time to visit my favorite bloggers. Your images are, as always, stunning!!

    I particularly like your featured image — I enjoyed being a part of the Bergen atmosphere, but I think that small parade captures the essence of the Norwegian people and the focus of this day and the meaning of the Constitution.


  8. Hi Bente
    Hope you enjoy the feast !
    Long life for your constitution with a good consensus and community preserved for the best of your country !
    I hate military parade…


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