Syttende Mai, May 17, is the day Norway ratified its constitution in 1814 at Eidsvoll. They did not, however, become independent from Sweden until 1905 and until then Syttende Mai celebrations were frowned upon and even forbidden.
Now, Norwegians celebrate their constitution with excited crowds, especially children, marching through the streets waving flags, singing songs, and celebrating their nation’s independence.
Syttende Mai at Vesterheim is a great opportunity to celebrate freedom wherever it occurs. Past celebrations have included free admission to the museum all day, a children’s parade through Decorah, a Foot-Notes dance, musical performances, gallery talks, and other family activities. Check back for detailed information about this year’s event.