Today's the day that Norwegians and Norwegian-Americans across the Puget Sound look forward to - Norwegian Constitution Day.West-Sounders, in the meantime, have been celebrating all weekend at Viking Fest in Poulsbo. Although the parade there took place on Saturday, it's not to late to head over there this afternoon to check out the lutefisk eating contest or enjoy the food booths and carnival rides. More information about Viking Fest can be found at http://www.vikingfest.org/#/schedule/.
Today folks in the Seattle area can enjoy festivities all day around the Ballard area, culminating in a parade through downtown Ballard, starting at 4 p.m. This is your opportunity to dust off your bunad or best clothes and meet folks from throughout the region who share an interest in Norway. Visit http://www.17thofmay.org/ to learn more about events taking place in Ballard today.
Norwegians simply refer to their constitution day as syttende mai (17th of May), just as we Americans refer to Independence Day as the 4th of July. Most Norwegians feel a personal sense of joy about the day. They dress up either in bunads or in suits and nice summer dresses, and celebrate in style. As people greet each other today in Norway, they say the same thing to each other that they would say when one is having a birthday: "gratulerer med dagen" (congratulations on the day). What a wonderful way to recognize the happiness we should all feel for the benefits of independence! Gratulerer med dagen, and have a great day!