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Syttende Mai

May 17, 2020

Syttende Mai

May 17, 2020

We’ve got everything you need for a fantastic virtual Syttende Mai celebration!

We hope that you all have an opportunity to shout Hurra! Hurra! Hurra! and wave a Norwegian flag from home!

Syttende Mai is the day Norway ratified its constitution in 1814 at Eidsvoll. Typically, to celebrate their constitution and national independence, excited crowds of Norwegians, especially children, parade through the streets, waving flags and singing songs. This year is the 150th anniversary of the first children’s parade, which took place in Oslo in 1870. Syttende Mai is a great opportunity to celebrate freedom wherever it occurs.

Syttende Mai from Vesterheim is sponsored by Jeff and Marilyn Roverud and Sons of Norway Decorah Lodge.

We’re starting early on Thursday, May 14, at 7:00 p.m. with an online conversation, Celebrating Norwegian Folk Art from Sámi North to Wooded South with Harley and Norma Refsal, in collaboration with North House Folk School.

Join this virtual tour of Norway as told through beautiful folk art. Guests Harley and Norma Refsal will share some favorite pieces from their personal collection and tell the stories of the lovely and diverse landscapes and history of Norway. In anticipation of the upcoming Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) celebration, escape with us to the land of the midnight sun for the evening!

Register in advance for this webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Harley and Norma Refsal

We’re so excited that Vidar Skrede will share his amazing Nordic folk music on Vesterheim’s Facebook page during a Syttende Mai live-stream concert! Join us here on May 17, at 1:00 p.m. CT! Vidar has performed and taught classes at Vesterheim a number of times in recent years, always to appreciative audiences. His artistry is a welcome addition to our virtual Syttende Mai celebration in 2020!

Vidar Skrede, from Haugesund, Norway, is a freelance Nordic folk musician on guitar, harding fiddle, fiddle and Greek bouzouki. He has a background in the traditional music from Rogaland (South West of Norway), and has a master degree in Nordic folk music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Vidar is a leading musician on the Nordic folk music scene and a popular tune writer.

Nordic folk musician Vidar Skrede plays guitar

Learn how to greet people on Syttende Mai! Take this short Norwegian language lesson from Maren Johnson, Assistant Professor of Nordic Studies at Luther College.

We’ve sharing fun activities that families can do at home together. Be sure to make your own Norwegian flag for your Syttende Mai celebration! Get started on these activities here.

Plus, watch the video instruction on the right for how to make your own waving streamer with things you can find around the house! Thanks to Jennifer Kovarik, Vesterheim’s Youth Educator, for sharing her expertise from home.

Every party needs food and this bløtkake recipe is perfect for Syttende Mai! This version is from Vesterheim Folk Art School instructor Darlene Fossum-Martin, Vesterheim, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2008 – Food for Thought.

Darlene starts with a basic sponge cake that can be adapted for any version of bløtkake and then continues with her special variation of rosemary, pears, raspberries, and kiwi filling. Find the recipe here and enjoy!


May 17, 2020
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