Sunday, May 17, 2009

17.05.2009

On most Norwegian bloggs you will today find pictures of people dressed up in their finest clothes, maybe in national costumes ("bunad"), cheering, waving Norwegian flags and generally having a good time. What you will not find is military parades, a show of advanced weapons etc etc. Oh, you may find the odd troop among the civilian parades, but they will be unarmed and probably marching not quite in step.

I have chosen a slightly different approach. I have done this to emphasize that the day is in commemoration of the signing of the first national, Norwegian constitution in 1814. After 400 years of Danish rule, the Napoleonic wars had left Norway to be transferred as a booty of war from Denmark to Sweden. Sweden had just lost Finland to Russia and the Swedish Crown Prince Carl Johan (Jean Bernadotte - a former Marshall under Napoleon) wanted Norway as a replacement.

However, the Norwegians wanted it otherwise. A national assembly was called at Eidsvold outside Oslo (then called Christiania) and they signed the worlds most liberal constitution on this day. True, after a short war with Sweden, Norway had to accept a personal union with Sweden under the rule of Crown Prince (later King) Carl Johan. But the constitution was kept almost unchanged and Norway had a very high degree of independence within the union until total independence was declared on the 7th of June 1905. But the 17th of May is acknowledged as the greatest day in our history.

So it is our Constitution we are celebrating - in our own simple, a bit nationalistic, but harmless way. May you all have a nice day!


PS Of course certain recent events in Moscow can't go unmentioned...

Now we have one more reason to celebrate!! Cheers to Alexander Rybak!!

29 comments:

Rune (Bildebloggen) said...

Gratulerer så mye med dagen, ha en fin feiring :o)

Gry said...

Gratulerer med dagen!

VALKYRIEN said...

Gratulerer så mye med dagen! Et flott bidrag, både i bilder og tekst! Sikkert fint for den engelsktalende bloggerverden å vite hva vi flagger for!

Håper du og dine får en flott dag!

lynnwiles said...

Does this mean I am no long Norwegian, but Danish instead, if my ancestors left Norway before 1814? Having an identity crisis.

John said...

Gratulerer med dagen :)

PERBS said...

How wonderful! A great reason to celebrate no matter what you do! May your country live forever!

Dina said...

To the good citizens of beautiful and independent Norway happy national day! A country to be proud of.
Thanks for the history lesson.
I love the attitude of the little flags with the branches in the milk can!

Anne said...

HURRA!!! Rune.
her går tog kl 0930, så vi er tidlig på`n.

Ha en fin dag min venn.

Liv said...

Gratulerer med dagen!

ChrisJ said...

I like your unconventional photo. Happy May 17th. A church member gave me a short history of Norway's May 17th. He's from Norway of course.

Dagrun said...

Gratulerer med dagen! Og flott at noen forklarer hva vi flagger for (at det ikke er Grand Prix ;)

Svein said...

Ha en fin søttendes!

Gordon said...

Congratulations to Alexander and Norway. I just watched the Eurovision Contest and enjoyed his performance immensely.

Marie Reed said...

I had no idea that today was a holiday in Norway! I enjoyed reading about the history of the day very much!

Reader Wil said...

I want to congratulate you all on this very important day! On my blog there's also a Norwegian flag.Have a wonderful day.

Petunia said...

Gratulerer så mye med dagen! Håper du har hatt en flott feiring.
Her er bunaden tatt av og joggeklær kommet på. Siste rest av rømmegrøt spist opp:) Men dagen har vært super!!

ArneA said...

Gratulerer med dagen

dot said...

Happy Holiday!
Check your e-mail.

Malyss said...

Someone in my family was looking at television yesterday evening, so I had a big thought for you when I heard the sunny and joyful Alexander singing and then , winning!And now I see that this victory is the second thing to celebrate today..
So best wishes for this very special Norvegian day. It's good to remind us a bit of history, and , at those times of European votes, to let us think and remember of where we all come from. As ever, you choosed an unusual but beautyful way for this celebration.
Have a good Day!

imac said...

I do hope that your head is not thumping loud Rune, with all this joyous celebrations on your 2 accounts.
Congrats and hope you have a drink for me.lol.

Safari post now up -if you can see straight lol.

ANNA-LYS said...

GRATULERAR x 2

:-D

RennyBA said...

Gratulerer med dagen Rune!

An excellent 17th of May post from you :-)

17th of May at RennyBA's Terella

Marka said...

I really like the texture and colors you captured in the second photograph. Excellent photo of the Norwegian flag and tribute to your heritage!

ChrisJ said...

So now I know who Alexander Rybak is. I just caught the name as I was flipping TV channels and the fact that he was from Norway. Now I have the proper spelling I can Google him and find out more.

Charlotte said...

Vakre bilder!!!

lynnwiles said...

Hi RuneE - I'm Danish too. Just wanted to make sure I was also Norwegian.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Europeans have so much history! Upper Canada (now Ontario) was just being settled in 1814!

Last weekend was a holiday in Canada too: Victoria Day. Yes, Queen Victoria of 19th century England. The day is slowly losing it's original meaning and now signifies the unofficial beginning of summer activities such as boating and going to the country on weekends.

Barbara Martin said...

Thank you for providing a look into Norway's history.

EG's comment above brought to mind that the first visitors to Canada were sailors from Norway/Sweden well before the French came to Nova Scotia in 1604.

postcardsfromwildwood said...

I didn't know this Norwegian history and it's very interesting. Also helps to explain why there were so many Norwegian flags on blogs last Sunday, and why this is such a big day. At first I thought it was because of Eurovision! But how wonderful that you had this extra thing to celebrate on your national day. Your photographs are beautiful.
Janice.