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Up in the mountains A trip along a country road The Fishermens Day An abandoned place Seen from the sea Around the year Mostly nature My slides - an introduction Winter scenes A walk along the shores

Skogsøya photos ~ Celebrating the May 17th

Your guide: Johan I. Borgos

Before 1814 Norway was a part of Denmark for many centuries. Then Denmark sided with Napoleon in a war, and they lost. As a part of the peace terms Denmark had to give Norway to Sweden, who was at the winning side.

Before this transition could be made Norway tried to be independent again. Representatives were elected, they met at a little place called Eidsvoll, and there they hammered out a constitution. It was signed May 17th, 1814. Later that year Norway had to accept the union with Sweden, but saved most of its new constitution.

After a while people began to celebrate May 17th, of course as a way of saying 'We want to be independent!'. The union with Sweden ended in 1905, and the Norwegians elected a Danish prince as king of Norway. That was king Haakon 7th. And May 17th became the national holiday of our country.

Every community celebrate this day. There is a parade (not military!), perhaps a speach, and above all something for the children. May 17th is also called 'the childrens day'. Let's visit the celebration at Skogsøya in 1983.

v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes 11 am on a cold and windy day. People are ready to start the parade near the community house. The children have gathered behind the flag.
At the harbour a brass band from another island arrives in a fishing boat. The parade almost doubles in size and becomes far more noisy! h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes The parade struggles against strong wind, but at least it isn't snowing! The narrow road doesn't allow more than four players to walk side by side.
We have turned, a mile from the community house. As you can see, the road has its ups and downs and many turns. But the band played on! h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes Outside the community house again. Shall we prolong the parade further along the road? No, it's too cold. Let's get inside for a cup of coffee.
Of course the band must play more music before the leave us. But look at patches of light on the floot (right). Something's happening outside! h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes Spring weather is very unstable on the coast at 69o north. Suddenly the wind drops and the clouds disappear. The sun blazes from a blue sky.
The children are the first to spot the change outside, and they start running. It's the first sunny day this spring! h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes The people gather outside, arranging competitions for the children. The wild running gets organized into small and informal duels with almost no rules.
Here a boy and a girl are jumping along the road in big plastic bags. Behind them the birches are still without leaves. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes No, wait a minute! Some rowan trees up in the hillside have dared to put out the first leaves. Soon spring will exsplode everywhere.
Ready - set - go! Young athletes, heading along fully dressed in their finest clothes, and the parents don't care. It's Childrens Day! h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes A race on tri-cycles! Looks like one of the competitors has some start problems, or has the other jumped the gun in the sunshine?
The celebration ends in a far better weather than it started. A warmer wind lifts the flag against a bright sun on an almost cloudless sky. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes

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