17th of May, our constitution day, is approaching and it is time to take our “bunads” out of the closet! The bunad is the national costume of Norway and looks different in the different parts of the country. Read more about background and pictures of the different types here. In Rogaland, we have a Rogalandsbunad, most common is the Frafjordbunad, which you can see in the picture below.
There are bunads for both men and women, but it has now become more common for men to wear suits on 17 of May and other bigger events. Usually, girls get their bunad as a present from their parents for their confirmation at age 14/15. A bunad can cost all from 20 000 NOK – 40 000 NOK. And maybe some plus-minus. These are worn mostly on 17 of May, but can also be seen in weddings and confirmations (the guests). There is also a certain amount of silver needed on the bunad. The girl gets everything for the confirmation except the silver that goes on the belt. That is meant as a sign of the marriage, where in laws and parents are supposed to give their daughter (in law) a new piece of silver every year.
My bunad is custom made by my grandma who loves to sew clothes, so it has a quite special look. The thing that makes it special is the vest – mine is black, where it is most common to have a colored silk fabric.
Last year, we celebrated the 17th in Oslo. That is indeed where one finds the biggest party! The royal family waves to the people in the endless parades for several hours. There is music, games, ice cream, hot dogs and cakes throughout the day! In the picture below, you see me with my mom and sister, a big and typical 17th of May cake and the Queen, Prince and Princess of Norway with their children.
This will be my first year without a bunad on the 17th of May as it is currently in Oslo, but this is the only year where that does not matter as we are russ! Hope everyone will have a great day with plenty of celebration. I will indeed think of you while sitting in a classroom with my biology exam!