Poulsbo’s Viking Fest is a celebration of Norway’s Constitution Day of May 17 (in Norwegian, “Syttende mai”). In Norway, it is a festival of flags and colorful processions, where children walk to the music of marching bands. Traditional Norwegian costumes are a prominent and common part of the celebrations. The festivities last from early morning to late at night. Parties with family and friends featuring traditional food and drinks are common. The day commemorates the adoption by Norway’s parliament of its own constitution on May 17, 1814, a constitution in large part modeled on the constitution of the U.S. At that time the country was still a part of a union with Sweden, and May 17 became a lasting, unifying national symbol in the struggle for its independence, became official in 1905. Norway was the third nation in the world to adopt a constitution and is today the only country aside form the U.S. to still use its original constitution.
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