top of page

How to Celebrate Syttende Mai Your Way

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

Norway National Day flags
Norwegian Constitution Day is a big event

I've been writing a series of posts recently about the National Day celebrations in Norway including the food that is enjoyed here on that special day, and the ways in which everyone makes their own space look beautiful. I thought it was fitting to include some ways that you can celebrate like a Norwegian.

Maybe your country already celebrates national day and you have the opportunity to experience this yearly. But if like mine (I’m English) it is a very low key affair, you might want to bring a yearly celebration into your life. This is not your birthday or the birthday of someone you know, but the yearly anniversary of something significant, something intangible, not necessarily a national day, but maybe a day you became a resident or the day you moved to your town or moved into your house or started your business or graduated. Your imagination is the only limit.

So where shall we start? I've got a few ideas to inspire you...

How To Bring a Constitution Day Celebration into Your Life:

  • Turn it into a yearly tradition with special celebratory food that you save for that day and new traditions that you keep for that special day. The Nordic countries have a long tradition of certain foods for special days and there are dishes and recipes that are only cooked for National Day or at birthdays such as bløtkake or Kvæfjordkake. So when you do have them it's a treat and something to be savoured.

Celebrate, decor
Create a celebration that is unique for you
  • Even make up a day that is a celebration of you or your family or an accomplishment that you want to remember and feel grateful for. If you can't think of anything, just do it "because"; because you have got through the last year, because you are reading this now, because it's a celebration of life.

outside party lights decor
Decorate if that that feels right for you
  • Spend time planning it beforehand. Design the day. How and when will it start? Will you invite guests to the start of the day or will you have a few moments to yourself to reflect on it? What will you wear? Is there an outfit that is reminiscent of the thing you are celebrating? Will you decorate? Are there particular colours that go well with your day? Do you have a special flag you can use or make one up! National Day in Norway is planned form start to finish and that may not be for everyone, but there is something exciting in the planning itself.

Norway bench garden
Making your space welcoming is a great gift to guests
  • Clean up and make things pretty and welcoming. Spend time before the day making everything look cosy and special so that you can welcome guests into your celebration. Maybe you only invite one guest or maybe you turn it into a party. Do what makes you feel good.

  • Allow it to bring you together in some solidarity with others. We have all been working for the last year to show solidarity to our fellow citizens and to the world as a whole. I think we are getting rather good at it on a global scale but you can still carry on doing that into the future with your yearly celebration.

A guestbook is a creative way to remember your day
  • Turn it into an anchor for the year. Something that is unique to you. The day that is special and a celebration of something precious to you that can carry you forward to the next year. You could even have a guest book for that day, an opportunity for you and your guests to make notes and save memories of the day and how the previous year has been.

Do you already celebrate a certain day? Or are you planning on making a celebration of your own?

If you enjoyed this post, we are talking all things Nordic living in the Living a Nordic Life Facebook Group. We'd be delighted to welcome you to the group.

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page