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Gratulerer med dagen, Norge! Happy birthday Norway!

Throughout the whole of today 17 May you will hear people saying this - gratulerer med dagen, happy birthday, because today is Norway's birthday. Or at least the birth of Norway's constitution.

It's a day of celebration from the enormous in Oslo, to every tiny little village throughout the entire country. It brings a sense of festivity, community and light hearted fun to our lives.

I wondered about writing an article about the day, but then decided to keep it simple. After all simple and cosy is what we like here at Living a Nordic Life and what could be cosier than for me to share some of the images from the Syttende Mai celebrations in my own tiny village in the county of Vestfold in south eastern Norway.

After walking from the village centre we all converge on the tiny white church which is has been meticulously groomed to be immaculate.

Speeches take place and we sing the national anthem in the open air next to the pretty little white village church.

Bunad or national dress is "de rigeur". The black and red bunad is the traditional style from the county of Vestfold. The men wear a red jacket, yellow waistcoat and black breeches. The outfits are made entirely by hand even the intricate embroidered shirts and take a huge amount of time and money and to make. They are also very hot and heavy because there is such a lot of woollen fabric in them. Traditional bunad shoes are also worn. These are black leather shoes with silver buckles. They are notoriously uncomfortable and I always smile when we visit the shops just before 17 Mai because next to the bunads and bunad shoes are a plethora of bluster plaster and those things to cool your feet down.

It's a relaxed and sociable affair with the whole village turning out to enjoy the day.

A moment of peace as Mia rests her feet after marching for more than a mile.

Syttende Mai is very much about children and the parades are dominated by schools and kindergartens with parents walking at the sides or watching and waving flags.

If something stands still long enough it gets a flag on it!

After the ceremony and church service we head home for some well earned cake and hotdogs, in the national flag colours, of course!!!

For more photos of the day this year come and join us in the Living a Nordic Life Facebook group.

Gratulerer med dagen, Norge!!

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