In pictures: Norway celebrates national day

May 17th, Norway’s national day, was today marked at Oslo’s Royal Palace and around the country.

In pictures: Norway celebrates national day
May 17th celebrations in Bergen. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Early this morning, the Crown Prince family began the day by greeting hundreds of cheering Norwegians at the royal residence at Skaugum near Oslo.

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Special May 17th pastries were on sale across the country.

Cinnamon rolls ready for May 17th. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

The royals were clad in bunads, the traditional Norwegian costume now synonymous with May 17th, as were many of the thousands that turned out on Oslo's Karl Johans Gate for the occasion.

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Later in the morning, King Harald and Queen Sonja appeared with their family on the balcony at the Royal Palace.

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

The tradition of the King and Queen waving to barnetoget, the children’s procession through the city, was begun in 1906.

The children's procession on Oslo's Karl Johans gate. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Queen Sonja chose a red bunad from the Øst-Telemark region for this year’s celebration.

The Queen has previously said the red bunad was her “favourite”.

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg also took part in celebrations and tweeted a May 17th greeting to the country.

Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Elsewhere in Norway, the children's procession in Ålesund enjoyed sunny weather.

Photo: Halvard Alvik / NTB scanpix

The coastguard took part in the procession in southwestern city Bergen.

Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Mountain regions also full of the colour of spring, nature and the Norwegian flag.

Gratulerer med dagen, Norge!

READ ALSO: Celebrating May 17th in Norway: A guide for first-timers


Oslo police stop May 17th parade with ‘around 150’ participants

Police in Oslo halted a parade to mark Norway’s National Day on Monday in which the number of participants appeared to exceed the city’s current restrictions on public assembly.

Oslo police stop May 17th parade with 'around 150' participants
Photo by Ernest Ojeh on Unsplash

Around 150 people gathered in central Oslo to take part in a parade, which was stopped by police as it headed towards the Royal Palace, newspaper VG reported.

“They had a size of about 150, give or take. They were moving around the city centre and at one point crossed Karl Johan (street) towards the palace,” senior police officer Tor Gulbrandsen told VG.

The event was called an “alternative May 17th parade” by Gulbrandsen, in absence of the city’s regular National Day celebrations.

Norway’s current coronavirus restrictions allow parades of up to 200 people provided social distancing is observed. But restrictions in Oslo are significantly tighter, with public assembly limited at 10 people.


“Another event was taking place at the palace. The police therefore chose to stop this alternative parade before it reached Slottsplassen [Palace Square, ed.],” the police officer said.

Participants joined the parade as a protest against Norway’s coronavirus restrictions, VG writes.

The royal family was on the balcony at the palace, in keeping with regular May 17th traditions, as the alternative parade approached the location, police said.

“Things happened calmly, but the police had to clearly communicate with the organisers to prevent them from disrupting the other event,” Gulbrandsen said.

That included using megaphones to inform them that their event was “illegal”.

The parade then moved towards the Egertorget square, by which time the number of participants had dwindled.

“Police were in the area to ensure they did not disrupt other events and have thoroughly documented the behaviour that went on. We must subsequently look at whether there will be stronger response (by police), it is too early to say as of now,” Gulbrandsen told VG.