Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Syttende Mai Picnic


Today was the final celebratory event for commemorating Syttende Mai - the picnic.

I was definitely dressed for the occasion, though not quite as "traditional" as others since I don't have a Bunad. I had my flag and my rosette and a festive red shirt.

DH was very relaxed and took the festivities in his stride. His version of festival regalia is a Hawaiian shirt. I must agree...it is definitely festive!

The Syttende Mai Picnic was held at Carderock Park again this year...right along the Potomac River. The weather was absolutely perfect! I helped with some of the setup and cleanup, but mainly just enjoyed the day.

Syttende Mai (May 17th) is the anniversary of the adoption of the Norwegian Constitution, not a celebration of their independence as that came much later. The Norwegian Constitution was modeled after the French Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. Up until that time, Norway had been owned by Denmark. Norway didn't truly receive its independence until 1905. Apparently, Sweden "received" Norway as a "prize" from the Danes at some point and remained under Swedish rule for a number of years. Finally, in 1905, Norway was granted independence from Sweden.

Mr. Lasse Sybersen, Chairman of the Norwegian Church Committee, introduced our speaker, Mr. Johan Vibe, DCM Royal Norwegian Embassy. Mr. Johan Vibe gave the address at the picnic as the Norwegian Ambassador was celebrating the holiday with the residents of Minnesota. During his address, Mr. Vibe relayed a greeting from King Harald V of Norway...first in Norwegian, and then in English.

According to Mr. Vibe, our celebration is quite similar to how it's celebrated in Norway as well. They too may have a picnic with hot dogs and some Cream Cake. That's the only thing we were missing...some Cream Cake...and perhaps a more elaborate parade.

He also said that in Seattle last year, they had 25,ooo participants in the Syttende Mai Parade. We were a much smaller bunch in size...but certainly not in enthusiasm! However, I think there's something to be said to a simple parade that's full of festive spirit.

We paraded through the park grounds with Mr. Vibe leading the group...waiving our Norwegian flags and dressed in Bunads, ribbons, or other festival gear and ended with hot dogs and chips with some ice cream for dessert.

There's something very festive about seeing everyone all dress in their Bunads (if they have one). Young and old...I just love the traditional costumes!

There were games for the kids as well. They received some pinwheels and some styrofoam airplanes. The stilts...or should I say attempting to use stilts...was always a popular "game" at every picnic!

Of course, I couldn't resist playing with the Lindehunds (Norwegian Puffin Dogs) - they're so cute! They're a regular at the festivals...and many times visit our Sons of Norway Lodge!


  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger Carola said…

    Looks like you had an awesome day and I love the pic of you with the flag :) Nice to see what your hubby looks like too :)


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