Syttende Mai

The 17th of May - Norwegian Independance Day

 I always wanted to be in Oslo, to see Norway's largest Sytten de Mai parade. That is their Independance day (from the Swedes) and there are parades in every city, but Oslo is the largest.

When I was a kid, my mother had a Bunad (old traditional costume from the cities of Norway) which fit me and I wore in the Brooklyn, New York, Norwegian Day Parade. It was hot (made of wool), long (down to my feet) and the day was hot (high 80's). There was also a wool hat to go along with this Bunad. I think I was crying for my mother to take it off me (I was real little).

Anyway, these Bunad's are very prestigious, proud and expensive. Men and children have Bunads as well, but it is the women who "take the center stage" with their colorful, long beautiful Bunads and special jewelery that is also worn with them. Each city has a different style Bunad so it was fancinating to see the different styles and colors.

I met with my cousin Wenche Morland, to watch the parade and we were early, so we got a great spot on Karl Johans Gate, real close to the King and Queen's Palace: Slott (Castle). There the King and Queen of Norway (Kung Harald and Drottning Sonia) waved to me (and I waved back). It was a great event. I never saw so many Bunads in my life. This was the longest parade I ever saw (longer than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, longer than the Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Christmas, New Years Day Parade, etc. - you get the message).


Here are some photos.