Norway’s May 17 Constitution Day normally brings with it very festive celebrations – large gatherings of people enjoying speeches and songs, a parade, food, and games. However, this is not a usual year.
For Angelenos, though, the Norwegian Church in San Pedro is offering an alternate kind of celebration. It is hosting drive-in celebrations in their parking lot area. Due to the limited size of their parking lot, guests must register in advance for one of three times offered. Each of the celebrations will include speeches, music and song, raffles with prizes, as well as Norwegian food and drink (see program). Guests will also have the opportunity to shop in the store. Click here for more details and registration information. They will be live-streaming the 11:00 a,m. celebration on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sjomannskirkenlosangeles
But how can you celebrate Norway’s national day if you’re not able to attend an alternate celebration? Read on to get some ideas on how you can celebrate at home.
Join a virtual celebration!
“Gratulerer med dagen” with NRK – Join as Norway celebrates 17th of May
(link to NRK site in Norwegian)
From early morning until late in the evening, there will be celebrations on TV, radio, and internet with reports from all over the country. The TV program starts at 7:50 a.m. CET (10:50 p.m. PDT on May 16!) with the hosts broadcasting from the roof of the NRK building in Oslo. Community leaders, popular TV personalities, and renowned artists will join them throughout the day. The celebration wraps up with a performance by singer Sissel Kyrkjebø and the orchestra KORK (Norwegian Radio Orchestra) at 9:10 p.m. CET (12:10 p.m. PDT on May 17) which will of course include Norway’s national anthem, “Ja, vi elsker”.
Norwegian organizations in New York and Washington, DC, will be celebrating together with a virtual program starting at 10:00 a.m. EDT which includes an opening ceremony followed by a church service in Norwegian. Then at 5:00 p.m. EDT there will be a concert featuring remarks from H.E. Ambassador Kåre R. Aas and a speech of the day as well as musical performances. All events will be streamed at: https://www.facebook.com/sjomannskirkeninewyork/
Join the communities of Mindekirken (The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church), Mindekirken Norwegian Language & Culture Program (MNLCP), and Norway House in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at a family song-along on YouTube. They will be singing five, fun 17. mai songs in Norwegian. For some warmup songs, visit Norway House on Facebook.
Celebrate the 17th of May with The Norwegian American! On Sunday, May 17, 1:00 p.m. PDT, join Inger-Kristine Riber, Reidun Horvei, and some of the best artists from the Hardanger region in Norway for a special 17. mai online concert. Join on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/events/109478979423001
This is a new initiative among Scandinavian and Nordic vendors spearheaded by Krista Nygaard, owner of Scandinavian Design Studio in Bend, Oregon, to bring the traditional Scandinavian experience online. The virtual market officially lasts from May 15 – 18 and most vendors will be offering special discounts during this time, but they welcome your support year round at: https://www.scandinavianfest.com/shop
Order take-out or delivery from Scandinavian food establishments.
If you’re local to the Los Angeles area, consider supporting these Scandinavian shops, bakeries, and restaurants with take-out or delivery. The cuisines of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark share some characteristics.
- Copenhagen Pastry in Culver City
- Bulle Bakery in Marina del Rey
- Gravlax in Culver City
- Open Face Food Shop in Los Angeles
- SHOOP’S european deli & cafe in Santa Monica
- Berolina Bakery in Glendale
Bake a traditional Norwegian treat!
- Go simple with cardamom buns or get a little fancier with skoleboller (cardamom buns with custard & coconut).
- Make Norwegian waffles or get fancy with a waffle cake!
- Impress with a bløtekake (Norwegian Cream Cake).
Browse a Norwegian food blog and pick out a recipe to try.
Here are two of my favorite Norwegian food bloggers, both of whom have lovely new cookbooks out as well, and don’t miss the recipe archive from The Norwegian American:
- Nevada Berg at North Wild Kitchen: Slow Nordic Living (North Wild Kitchen: Cooking from the Heart of Norway, 2018)
- Daytona Strong at Outside Oslo (Modern Scandinavian Baking: A Cookbook of Sweet Treats and Savory Bakes, 2020)
- Taste of Norway article archive from The Norwegian American
Sit down with a Norwegian book, whether it’s one for yourself or one to read with your children.
Here are some book lists that might be helpful:
- What I Read for the Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2018
- What I Read for the Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2019
- Recent (& Upcoming) English Releases of Norwegian Books
- My list of Norwegian History and Culture Books for Kids
Check out “17. mai” festivities in Norway from 2019.
- Trondheim 2019 Festivities
- Oslo 2019 – Parade along Karl Johan gate (YouTube)
- Bergen 2019 Parade (YouTube)