One of the most important days of the year in Norway, Constitution Day. It’s a day of celebration for all Norwegians throughout the world. T’s childhood memories are filled with special foods and activities he enjoyed as a kid – potato sack races, the spoon and the egg relay contest, the tug-of-war, the parade of children and adults alike dressed in their finest bunads singing well-known songs as a band accompanied the joyful voices. And though we live on the other side of the world from Norway, our girls are experiencing it all.
We spent 17.May in San Francisco at Crissy Field. This was the same location as last year’s 17.May celebration organized by the staff at the Norwegian Seaman’s Church. We started the day with homemade waffles partly because L asks for waffles everyday until the weekend rolls around (when she knows I’ll make them for her) and partly because it seemed appropriate for such an auspicious day. T was quite appreciative that I made such an effort.
As is our usual, we were in hurry-up mode getting the girls ready and retrieving their bunads and accessories to leave in time to catch the parade. We thought to dress them in their Norwegian finest when we got to the city as well, you never know what can happen on the ride up. The last minute chaos was due to our annual frantic search for Norwegian flags and pins to wear for the festivities (Note to self – put all Norwegian paraphernalia in box, label it, put it in closet for next year…don’t forget which closet).
It had been hot for most of the week (temperature in the 80’s) and the forecast for the day confirmed that 17.May would be no different. Uh…yea…right. As we neared Crissy Field, we weren’t quite sure where that fog landed. If it was at the field, I knew I would be shivering. Silly me, I forgot to pack a real jacket. What was I thinking? Wind is always to be expected at Crissy Field but you never know about the chill. I was spared, though. The bright sun, blue skies and the fog maintaining its distance beyond the Golden Gate Bridge made for a rather pleasant stay at Crissy Field. Windy, yes, but also warm. I didn’t relish the idea of watching the festivities from our truck with binoculars in hand.
We caught up with the parade as it made the first turn in its route, which was only about ¼ the way through. The girls *love* parades! They waved their flags and sang along as T documented the event. The crowd was at least twice as large as last year’s crowd which made the parade even more festive. Afterward, we relaxed on the grass and munched on hot dogs and ice cream. K and L joined in the games – a spoon/egg relay and tug-o-war (I think we missed out on the sack races while we were munching on hot dogs…at least I did). L chose to run a few 360’s around the flag as she did her leg of the relay. Very entertaining. The tug-o-war was a new experience for the girls. They alternately hung on and pulled, let go and laughed, then danced around in triumph when the girls’ team won.
The gathering started to disperse as the fog rolled in (oh when that fog hits, it is sooooooooooo coooooooold). That concluded our little taste of Norwegian heritage for our girls. And it was certainly a memory they’ll hold dear in their hearts as they grow older.