Today in Legal History: Norway’s Constitution Day


Syttende Mai (May 17th) is Norway’s Constitution Day. Norway had been a part of the Danish Autocracy for 400 years, and on May 17, 1814, Norway signed the constitution that declared the country an independent nation. The Norwegian Parliament held the first Syttende Mai celebration in 1836—even though they would not become fully independent until 1905—and from then on the day became Norway’s official National Day.

While Syttende Mai is a national holiday in Norway, it is also a big event here in Seattle. The holiday has been a popular Ballard neighborhood celebration since 1974, with food and activities for the whole family.

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