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Why Norwegians are Celebrating Today

Is every Norwegian you know partying like it’s 1999 today? Actually, they’re partying like it’s 1814. Sort of. May 17th, better known as Syttende Mai, is Norway’s Constitution Day. On this day 204 years ago, Norway’s Constitution was signed into law following Denmark-Norway’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars. Prior to 1814, Norway had spent nearly 500 years under Danish rule as part of the Kalmar Union and, following Sweden’s secession from the union in 1523, part of the Danish Kingdom. However, shortly following the signing of the constitution in August of 1814, Norway entered a union with Sweden where the celebration of Syttende Mai was forbidden until the early 1830s. It was then that public officials and the Monarchy began officially commemorating the day and celebrating the country’s history. Today, the Norwegian celebration is going strong. So strong, that is, that some even believe that it is more of a party than the 4th of July for the United States . So, today, we raise our glasses to Norwegians everywhere. Party on, Norway, party on.

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