It’s that time again. The day when Norwegians get dressed up in their gorgeous bunads, watch their children march down the street waving flags, buy them an overpriced balloon, eat copious amounts of ice-cream and hotdogs, and complain about the weather.
It’s also the only day of the year when you will see this many people in the Halden town centre. Michael got some great photos back in 2009, when not only was the sun actually shining, but Norway had just won the Eurovision, so everyone was on a high.
The bunad tradition is apparently based in nineteenth-century romanticism. I’m a fan. As I had to look after the little guy, who was more interested in walking around in circles and poking his little flag into the holes in the park benches, I didn’t get a very good view of the parade. It didn’t matter, because everyone who walked past me was wearing something like this, so I had plenty to look at. Secretly I’d quite enjoy wearing a dress like this. One little girl we met was wearing a beautiful dress that her grandmother had once worn.
No photos of us, because although we learnt our lesson in previous years and did not turn up in jeans, we can’t really compete with the natives. You do feel conspicuously non-Norwegian on the 17th of May. We were invited to a party in the afternoon, and Felix ate a hotdog in lompe (a kind of potato pancake), tasted jelly for the first time, and generally had a ball playing with other kid’s toys and trying to keep up with the big kids. So despite the fact that we are all really very tired just at the moment, it was a very nice day indeed.