17 May – Norwegians celebrated in the Royal Łazienki
The Norwegian Embassy and its guests marked the Norwegian Constitution Day - the most colourful and joyful event in the country of the fjords - with a reception in the Old Orangery. On 17 May, Norway celebrates the anniversary of the adoption by the state of the constitution in 1814.
On this day, festive atmosphere prevails in the country as the national holiday is celebrated there exceptionally noisily and merrily. This is the most joyful day of the year for most Norwegian children who - dressed up to the nines - take part in colourful parades. They march carrying the Norwegian flags, accompanied by the sounds of school orchestras. Then, throughout the day, they participate in numerous outdoor activities.
Parades pass through centres of Norwegian cities, towns and villages. Almost all residents join them, dressed in festive outfits to which cotillions in national colours and badges with the Norwegian flag are attached. More and more Norwegians wear hand sewn and embroidered traditional outfits (called bunad in Norwegian), featuring different patterns and colours depending on the region. The day on which they can be seen in the colourful parades is regarded to be a holiday of Norwegian tradition and history.
In the afternoon, participants of the parades gather at barbecues, where fish, various kinds of meat and traditional groats with cream are served. On that day, record quantities of hot-dogs, ice-cream and balloons are sold while music and laughs can be heard until late evening.
Many Norwegians and people of Norwegian origin living abroad celebrate the Constitution Day too. Embassies and other Norwegian institutions organise parades resembling those in Norway.
HISTORY OF THE NORWEGIAN CONSTITUTION
Beginning in 1814 - after a 434-year (from year 1450) union with Denmark, Norway enters a personal union with Sweden, to which it was compelled following the invasion of Denmark by Sweden.
17 May 1814 - Norwegians declare a constitution of independent Norway. In the same year, following a short war, a treaty was signed in Moss, under which Sweden recognised Norway having its own constitution.
1836 - the Norwegian Parliament, Storting, celebrates the holiday of 17 May for the first time. Since that time, this day has been considered a National Holiday.
1870 - the first parade with children is organized at the initiative of one of the leading Norwegian writers, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
1905 - dissolution of the union with Sweden; the Danish prince Carl, known as Haakon VII, becomes the King of Norway.