So, today is the 17th of May, which is Norway’s constitution day, our national day.
Im going to be working with sharing the culture and story behind 17th of May and Norway´s history.
I have used the last few days planning some stuff thats going to be done in the pavilion. Ive learnt that you cant always get what you want and desire when youre working for one of the worlds largest companies, things needs to be approved by different people and you have a whole system you have to go through to maintain a good-show standard according to Walt Disney Worlds policy. But I believe that what I have arranged so far, will make this celebration atleast somewhat like home, except we actually have sun in Epcot today… 🙂
So. Im going to be with the entrance to the Norway pavilion all day, and talk to guests, making Norway flags for the children and have fun. We are also planning to have a parade (17.mai-tog) at 16.15 in the pavilion where we are going to sing some Norwegian songs used in the parades back home; Ja, vi elsker dette landet, Vi ere en nasjon, 17. mai sang and Det er Norge i rødt, hvitt og blått…
Here is a little information about the 17th of May:
What are we celebrating?
17th of May 1814 is a special day in Norways history, its the day the country got its own constitution, which eventually led to Norways freedom from many hundred years being ruled by Denmark and Sweden.
In 1813 Napoleon lost a battle in Germany against the Swedish Crownprince Karl Johan, Denmark, which then have had ruled Norway for over 400 years, had to give Norway to Sweden because Denmark was an allied of Napoleon, this was decided in the Treaty of Kiel 14th of January 1814.
The Danish Crownprince Christian Fredrik was in Norway when the treay was signed, and decided to act to regain the power in Norway. 112 men from all over the country (except the most northern areas) were called in to meet in Eidsvoll to make a constitution, they were gathered in Eidsvoll from the 10th of April to the 20th of May 1814.
Even though Christian Fredrik was a very popular person in Norway the men of Eidsvoll did not want him to rule the country alone, and based on the constitutions after the French and American revolution, the men made the most radical constitution in the world at the time, giving the people the power and decleared Norway as a free and independent nation. Christian Fredrik was decleared king of Norway, but had to realize his powers was now strongly reduced.
Sweden, with support from the other supreme European countries at this time, did not accept this constitution. They attacked Norway the 26th of July in a war that lasted for about two weeks, in the treaty of peace called the Treaty of Moss, Christian Fredrik agrees to abdicate and leave Norway as long as Norway could keep it parliament and some suverinity. It ended with a personalunion between Norway and Sweden where the only affairs Sweden had the power was in cases regarding the king and the foreign politics… Norway stayed in a union with Sweden for nearly 100 years, but gained its indepence in 1905.
How are we celebrating?
17th of May is a national holiday, and opposite to many other countries that have big military parades, we have people parades.
The focus is mostly on our children, and its common for every child that they are allowed to eat as much ice-cream as they want this day.
17th of May is also a big day for our young adults, as around 42.000 students graduate from high school. These are called «russ» and walk around in red, white and blue dresses, they are celebrating the end of 13 years of school.
It is common to dress nicely at 17th of May, and a lot of people wear our national costume, the «bunad», which is also the costume for the Norwegian Cast Members working here in Epcot. There is a lot of different varieties of these «bunads», the ones we are wearing here is a replicate of the «Hardangerbunad», also the official «bunad» of Norway. While in Norway they are made of wool, ours are made of cotton.