Sunday, May 30, 2010
We were fortunate to time our visit in Norway during one of their major holidays, Syttende Mai. This translates into the "17th of May", which is their National Day, when they celebrate their independence from Sweden in 1905. It is a day that all Norwegians come out into the streets dressed in their traditional clothes, a bunad, indicative of the area that they were born and grew up, or that they live in now. It is a day of parades and celebration. It was a good day for taking pictures of the colorful culture of Norway. The main event of the day is a parade of the children. All the local schools are represented, each grade getting their turn. It reflects the pride this nation has in its future generation. The children march, some play in bands, some toot their enthusiasm through noise maker horns. Everyone has fun! After the parade people just stroll around the village. No stores are open, other than the ice cream stands. Some vendors sell savory sausages. After some walking around most find their way to restaurants, which are open. Everyone is out showing off their festive clothes. Enjoy some of the snapshots I took of the villagers of Lillehammer, Norway. For a closer view just click on the picture. For an even closer view click again using the little magnifying glass which will come up with the first click. The traditional clothes above are of the Sami, an ethnic group of Norwegians that live in the very far North of the country. Historically they have been reindeer herders. Below is another example of the outfit in the Folk Museum. I thought the purple bunad above to be the most beautiful one I saw the entire day. Even the sage fathers of the village enjoy ice cream on a special day! I'll finish up this entry by including our host families. Above is Lene and her two children. Henrik wore his bunad for the wedding, but not for National Day. Lars and Marie enjoyed the day with their two children. The children enjoyed the ice cream. Asbjorn and Rigmore accompany Rich and his mother. We moved through the village, Asbjorn visiting with many people he knows. We ended up across town at a restaurant where we had lunch and local beer. It was a very enjoyable day!