stavanger 17 may 2012

A Soggy 17th of May in Stavanger

I've been meaning to write a post about the weather in Stavanger. It's not great. Norwegians have a saying that "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing." I have to admire the practicality and positive nature of that statement, which we've taken to heart since we moved here. When it rains we wear our rain boots and splash about in the puddles. We always dress for four seasons in one day, something we're used to doing from living in Melbourne. But let's be clear...usually it's only three seasons here. I'm really curious to see what summer will be like because we haven't experienced any warm weather yet here.

Norwegian flags constitution day

Every house had at least one Norwegian flag on display for national day.

But that didn't stop everyone from coming out with smiles and rain ponchos for the celebration of Norway's national day, celebrating its becoming an independent nation in 1814. Many events occur around the country on this day and we headed into town for a few hours to check out the parades and festivities.

Crowds gathered for the People's Parade in Stavanger.

stavanger 17 may 2012people's parade 17 may stavangerWe started our day at the International 17 May party in Bjergstedparken, where a small crowd was being entertained by folk dancers and the Stavanger Brass Band. Here the national and international associations sell food and ice cream. It was a bit difficult to stand around in the rain and try to enjoy ourselves for very long so we headed into town.

stavanger harbour constitution day

Extra flags flying for the 17th of May.

swans in the rain

The swans clearly had enough already.

Things were quiet by the harbour so we decided to follow everyone else's lead and head to our favourite bar. Sure enough, more things were happening indoors on a wet day like this.

russ 17 May

The russ were out in force on their last day of partying before exams.

After a drink we headed back out and went to watch some of the People Parade. Everyone was out dancing and enjoying the fun. The rain had stopped for a bit and it was nice to just soak up the atmosphere. Most of the groups in the parade seemed to be associated with clubs and communities, walking together and proudly waving their banners and flags.

dog norwayI think the willingness of everyone to come out despite the yucky weather and still make the most of the day really speaks to how special Norway's national day is. It's a bit of a shame that it was so wet (it's been raining all week here) because we were looking forward to our first 17th of May for weeks. We didn't stay out as long as we would have liked. But we look forward to future celebrations!

How does your country celebrate its national day?

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

We’re in Europe but seem to have missed out on the rain mentioned above. Lucky us – it’s finally hotting up down here. The shorts and sandals are out and I’ve bought myself a snazzy pair of linen trousers…

I’d love to see Norway and we did plan to but it’s up in the air again. Do you have any northern lights trips planned?

9 years ago
Reply to  robin

We do! At least I do – John has heard about them briefly but we haven’t made a plan yet 😉 The activity is supposed to be strongest next winter so I want to go up north and hire a cabin somewhere and just watch them at night. I think that would be terribly romantic, despite the cold and snow. Will keep you posted on our plans.

So jealous of your sandals!

I really have trouble coping with persistent bad weather… I think that is why I didn’t enjoy myself that much in Denmark since it was my first time living in a wet climate

9 years ago

Even in the rain Stavenger still manages to look beautiful. Great shots!

9 years ago
Reply to  Alexa Meisler

Well I’m sure the swans would disagree but, yes, it is a gorgeous place. This week the sun is shining and we’ve had two 25C days in a row! Thanks, Alexa =)

Looks like quite the festive day, despite the rain. I love how even the dog is sporting Norweigan colors. In the US, we have the 4th of July … though it seems something always comes up and I’m never able to attend a fireworks celebration. But it’s great to get a three-day weekend!

9 years ago

I always enjoyed the 4th of July – I’m American as well =) The fireworks are usually really good and I love our national anthem…

9 years ago

Nice photos Andrea. I hope you get a bit of sunny weather, I’ve heard that winter can be brutal in Norway. My friends told me not to come to Norway in winter, not even as a joke! Surely it can’t be that bad!

Also, that dog is so cool.

9 years ago
Reply to  Nate @yomadic

I’m kind of looking forward to winter because then at least the rain will turn to snow. Snow is far less annoying 😉

Thank you for working with Straigh To The Point.
Send this to a friend