Monday, May 23, 2016

17th of May in Norway

This lovely cake approximates the red, white and blue crusaders' cross of the Norwegian flag
We're a week late, but Happy Norwegian Independence day!  May 17th is a special day in the country of Norway.

My second cousin Marit and her husband Jan
 The 17th of May is the day all the schoolchildren march in parades all over the country.  They are dressed in their Sunday best and all carry the red, white and blue Norwegian flag.  Those who have the national costumes, or bunad, wear them on this day.  In the photo above, my second cousin Marit shows off her beautiful Lier bunad, which is embroidered by hand with the apple blossoms of the Lier valley where my mother was born.  Her jewelry is also authentic Norwegian - with brooches of ancient design.

The Lier bunad was designed by another relative, Ruth Strand (My mother's cousin Willy's wife), and was accepted as the official bunad of the Lier valley in the 1970s.

Marit and her husband were just recently released from their service in the LDS temple in Sweden, where Jan served as Temple President, and Marit served as Temple Matron.  They are truly wonderful people.  They have a bunch of beautiful kids and grandkids.

Jan, Marit and a couple of the grandchildren
It looks like this year's celebration was sunny and pleasant.  I've attended May 17th celebrations in the past that were COLD and rainy!

Here (below) Marit stands with other women in their National dress - note the beautiful embroidery on the back of the bunad on the right.  Every one of these dresses follow established patterns from the valleys of Norway; every one of them is a work of art.

Other countries parade their armies, their tanks, and weapons of war on their national holidays, someone once said.  Norway parades and celebrates its children.

Cousin Marit and her family live in Drammen.  This is a lovely city about 40 minutes west of Oslo by train.
Cousins Matts and Jonas (Both my 2nd cousins once removed)
My Oslo-based first cousin Gro always has a full table for her 17th of May dinner.  I think of our 4th of July paper plates, paper napkins and hot dogs and cringe a little when I see how she's set her table for this fun holiday.

Cousin Gro Lene's table is set for company
My mother used to go to this kind of trouble for parties, too.  I think the gene for elegant parties missed me.

Gro took this photo (below) of the celebration in her Nordstrand neighborhood of Oslo:

The entire country shows up for these parades and mostly celebrate with hot dogs and ice cream.  It's a colorful, and peaceful holiday.

May 17th has passed, however, I do hope you have an opportunity for some terrific family gatherings this summer!
Cousin Gro Lene with my brother Jay

No comments: