The 17th May, also known as Norwegian Constitution Day, is an official national holiday that is celebrated all over the country. The Constitution was signed in 1814 and declared Norway to be an independent kingdom.
Despite me being in Bergen for almost 3 years, this was my first time celebrating it here so I was very excited!
We arranged to celebrate the 17th with some of my expat friends, so I decided to bake a “marsipankake” for the day. I’ve never been quite fond of baking as I find it quite stressful and as I expected, It didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped! My sponge base didn’t rise very much at all, so I had to run out to the shop to buy more eggs to bake another one! The second didn’t rise either but I managed to salvage the cake by putting the two sponge layers together. Recipe: Marsipankake
On the morning of the 17th, after having our champagne breakfast, we made our way into the city centre to watch the parade. The streets were lined with thousands of people, many of whom were wearing their traditional “bunader”. Bergen has its own traditions for the parade, that includes comic troupes, various local organisations, a children’s parade, and the unique “buekorps”. It was a great experience from start to finish, and we were lucky that the weather held out.
After the parade had ended, my friends and I came back to our place and we continued the celebrations by drinking prosecco and vodka, eating “pølse” and “kake”, attempting to sing the Norwegian national anthem, and dancing to music until late!
Marsipankake = Marzipan Cake
Bunader = Traditional Norwegian Costume
Buekorps = Traditional marching neighbourhood youth organisations in Bergen
Pølse = Sausages (similar to hot-dogs)
Gratulerer med dagen = Congratulations with the day