Not Your Grandma’s Syttende Mai

This year the wonderful traditional Syttende Mai celebrations in Norway and here in the United States are cancelled due to the Corona Virus pandemic. But Syttende Mai is about the history of Norway and lack of celebration is part of that history. During World War II when the Germans occupied Norway from April 9, 1940 – May 8, 1945, May 17th parades were forbidden as was wearing the colors of the flag on your clothing. (You can find more facts about Syttende Mai here.) You can also read our previous posts: 10 Unique Facts about Syttende Mai and Syttende Mai – Norway’s Constitution Day

A newsreel report of the May 8, 1945 celebration when the German occupation ended can be seen here.

While we are sad that we can’t participate in larger celebrations of Syttende Mai you can be part of the celebration at what is being called A National House Party. Norway House has information about the history of Syttende Mai as well as ways you can celebrate from home, along with links to these celebrations. You can find the information on their website.

One tradition we can all get behind — Norwegians eat between five and 10 times as much ice cream on the 17th of May than on any other day of the year. It’s the day that kids—and adults— can eat as much ice cream as they want—enjoy!