This is easier said than done, seeing as the full “Bunad” traditional costume can set you back 70,000 kroner ($12,000), and dirndl dresses don't come cheap either. But if you're of African heritage and you come out on the streets dressed like Heidi, Norwegians will love you for it. It'll sooth their underlying worries that all this nationalism might, just possibly, be a tad exclusionary. If your funds don't stretch that far, wear a suit and carry a Norwegian flag.
2. Get a flag
The day starts at 7am when orchestras and marching bands wake you up by playing traditional songs. But it won't stop there: the parades continue all day long and everyone will follow them everywhere with their waving flags and cheering.
4. Eat and drink like a Norwegian
Photo: Alexandra Leisse/Flickr
5. Learn the national anthem
You only really need the first couple of verses, but learning “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” is essential to a glitch-free 17 May.
For the Brits out there, the Kongesangen, or 'King's Song”, which you'll also hear, has the same tune as God Save the Queen.
6. Book your children into a children's parade.
Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix
Ok, it's probably a bit late for this (sorry!), but Norwegians love the odd non-ethnic Norwegian kid in the children's parades that mark May 17th. If your child is marching, you'll have something you genuinely want to cheer, even if all the Norwegian national pride is a bit much. Plus, if you plan to stay in Norway, there's no better way of starting your child on the path to an ersatz Norwegian identity.
7. Escape the whole thing by leaving Norway
With almost no Norwegians travelling, 17 May can mean rock-bottom prices on low cost airlines. You'll probably find the flight full of Somali or Iraqi Norwegians taking the chance to see relatives elsewhere in Europe. If you're Swedish, getting away is near essential. “I normally 'escape' the country on 17th May,” says Erika, who works for a green charity in Oslo. ” Norwegians can just get too much with their lusekofta and traditional clothing and behaviour.”
8. Escape the whole thing, but stay in Norway
May 17th will be the one day this summer when Norway's outward-bound population stays in the city. So if, like many foreigners, you find all the nationalism uncomfortable, it's a perfect opportunity to enjoy the country's beautiful nature stripped of any wandering Norwegians. Maybe go for a drive, for once unobstructed by roller skiers.
Gratulerer med dagen!