Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 17th

May 17th is Norway's National Day. What does that mean? First of all, it is a holiday, but not just that, it is one of the most (if not the most) important holiday for Norwegians.

In the morning there are parades of children and bands who walk up to the palace for a royal blessing: the king, queen and prince wave to the crowd from their balcony.

Never saw so many people in the streets in Oslo!

The royal palace and the crowds watching the bands make their way up the hill.

See the royal family waving from the balcony?

But the main attraction during the parade was to see all different type of bunad, the traditional Norwegian dress. Each part of the country has its own, and even every village has a different patterns. Until a while back you were only allowed to wear the bunad from where you come from (instead of picking your favorite or the most beautiful one). Until today they are only made in Norway, and therefore are super expensive. A nice bunad can easily be sold for 10 thousand euros (USD14 thousand!). Usually each person has 1 and it is used only on special occasions (such as May17th and weddings). The interesting consequence is that apparently Norwegian women wear the same clothes size throughout their lives! Just to fit into the bunad...

Some simple bunads.

More embroidered bunads.

Men dress up too!

An interesting looking family in bunads.

Even kids dress up!

And now some details of what makes them special:
Detail of the embroidery.

Some have fancy hats too!

And some other headdresses!

Each has a matching purse...

That is attached to the belt.

And look at the shoes: they look like witch's shoes!

Of course, there are exceptions as well:
Which make for very interesting contrast.

And after the parades, what else is there?
In Grønland (the immigrant neighborhood) there was an amusement park and a international food fair!

And in my new neighborhood people were sitting out, watching live bands and barbecuing.

Indeed a very nice day to spend in Norway!

You can read more about it here.


  1. Nice!
    A 10k Euro that seem like a very good incentive to stay fit so you can wear it all life long.

  2. I did some checking and from what I saw the price varied between 3000 euro and 10 000 euro, which is crazy, before checking up on it I thought the price range was more like ~2000 euro