The 17th of May has remained the great spring festival in Norway, in a country with a winter that is both long and cold. For this reason the 17th of May has more and more taken on the character of a children's festival. The children's procession has become the colourful focal point in the celebrations, from the most remote coastal settlements to the capital city where literally thousands of schoolchildren, marching along behind their school bands and banners, file past the Royal Palace in salute to the King.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
As early as the 1820s people started to celebrate the 17th of May, and since then this day has been established as Norway's National Day, Norway's Liberation Day, even though the celebrations have in the course of time changed their character and form. The history of the 17th of May celebrations in Norway reflects in many ways the main features of the country's history from 1814 until today.