Today is the Norwegian Constitution Day (Nasjonaldagen or Grunnlovsdagen). It is a national holiday in Norway and is marked with parades, national dress wearing and flag waving. I remember it being particularly fun back in the eighties when I lived in Norway. Today’s 17th May celebration is the bicentenary of the signing of the constitution at Eidsvoll. This act marked the start of the route to independence for Norway. It had originally been a separate country and Viqueen has a virtual 17th May parade with the legendary founder of Norway on her blog. However, Norway and Sweden became part of Denmark with the Kalmar Union of 1397, which was a response to increasing commercial pressure from the south. Sweden gained its independence again in 1523, but Norway had to wait nearly another 400 years. Due to bad choices made by Denmark in the Napoleonic Wars, Norway joined a union with Sweden later in 1814 and it did not gain full independence until 1905, but 1814 marked the start of that road.
Gratulerer med dagen, Norge.