Friday, May 17, 2013

Gratulerer med dagen!

The Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (Constitution Day)

Historical background

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation.
The celebration of this day begun spontaneously among students and others from early on, and for some years the king was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a couple of years in the 1820s, king Carl Johan actually forbade it, as he thought the celebrations a kind of protest and disregard - even revolt. The king's attitude changed slightly after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the King had to allow it.

It was, however, not until 1833, that anyone ventured to hold a public address on behalf of the day. That year, official celebration was initiated by the monument of the late politician Christian Krogh, known to have stopped the King from gaining too much personal power. The address was held by Henrik Wergeland, thoroughly witnessed and accounted for by a Swedish spy, sent by the King himself.

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