What’s special about May?
from April 20th, until the National Day on 17th May, you will notice young people wearing red or blue overalls decorated with white words and symbols. These are 18 and 19 year old students in their last term of upper secondary school and are celebrating the end of secondary education. They are called “russ“. All over Norway, they traditionally don their russ overalls in April and wear these unwashed till the end of the celebratory period. Some groups of russ buy an old bus and spend a lot of money and time decorating and furnishing this. They then drive around their neighbourhood after school and at weekends, usually playing very loud music. Many people, especially teachers, deplore this tradition as the non-stop partying and drinking can destroy students’ chances of achieving good results in the final state examinations which begin immediately after the 17th May. (The picture shows exhausted students on top of their bus at the local school’s National Day celebrations.)
The Norwegian National Day is 17th May and is celebrated all over the country. This is when you can enjoy seeing many bunader (national costumes) from all over Norway for many men and women wear the bunad of the district they, or their parents, originally come from. In every village and town, there are processions of school children, local families and visitors all waving flags and enjoying the school band playing patriotic songs,
As the Crown Prince and Princess live in our municipality of Asker, children from all the primary schools get up very early indeed and march in procession from Asker Church to the Royal Residence at Skaugum where the Royal Family waves from the front door steps.
Afterwards the children are brought back to their own school district where they again march, this time to their school for fun, games and lots of goodies.
The longest procession is in Oslo and it is breathtaking to see the several hours long procession march up the main street, Karl Johan gate, to the Royal Palace where the Royal Family waves from the central balcony.
It is traditional to eat lots of ice-cream and hot dogs on this “Norway’s birthday”.
30th May is Ascension Day (Kristi Himmelfartsdag) in Norway and a National Holiday. In 2020 Ascension is on 21st May.
Pentecost weekend (Pinse) is Saturday, Sunday and Monday 8th – 10th June 2019. (30th May – 1st June in 2020) This is a National Holiday in Norway.
Opera day in Vollen – On 27th May at 15:00 hrs, Katharina Kockum will lead the programme of opera at Vollen Marina.
For those who enjoy more modern music, there is a Concert evening with the Norwegian group Di derre og Hu derre on 26th May at 19:00 hrs. This is also at Vollen Marina. For lovers of Norwegian thrillers, it will be of interest that Jo Nesbø is an enthusiastic member of the group!
You can get more information and order tickets at www.destinasjonvollen.no
Places especially worth going to in May
Oslo Summer Park
Oslo Summer Park is the biggest climbing park in Oslo and very popular with locals and visitors alike. There is climbing for everyone, regardless of age or skill. There are over 150 elements among the trees, across 9 different routes of varying...
Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)
Please note: in 2020 the tunnel was upgraded. The spiral tunnel in the city of Drammen is a unique experience and in fact has been ranged by CNN Travel as one of the world's most special tunnels. You enter from the town and drive up 1650 meters in six and a half...
Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform
The King's Viewing Platform is 484 meters above the Tyrifjorden and Steinsfjorden lakes. You can either start at Sundvolden and hike the 1300 meters up to Kleivstua or you can drive up to Kleivstua parking area beside the hotel (this is a toll road and...
There is a beautiful, and very varied frisbee golf course at Vollen. The whole course is found throughout the forest and down to the seaside at Vollen. This frisbeegolf course attracts keen adult experts who are amazing to watch in action, and also...
Bicycles: on- and off-road
Exploring the Oslo region and city is especially great by bicycle. There are lots of cycle tracks in and around the city and throughout the region. Norway has been enthusiastic in encouraging people to cycle to work or free time activities. Tourists to...
Visit a Lighthouse
A pleasant drive of about three quarters of an hour takes you to Filtvet lighthouse (Filtvet fyr). It is also possible to take the 250 bus going south from Vollen and change to the 85 bus. This bus trip takes about an hour but check on the bus planner. ...
Children’s playgrounds and training apparatus for all ages
Every school and kindergarten in Norway has an outdoor playground. During school hours these are for the use of the children attending that place. However after 17:00 on weekdays, at weekends and during national or school holidays, most of these may be...
Magic Ice, Oslo
Magic Ice is found in four towns in Norway (and also in Anchorage, Alaska, Copenhagen, Denmark and Reykjavik, Iceland) The photos here were taken in Svolvær, in Lofoten in the North of Norway but the concept is much the same at each location. On entry you are given a...
Ice-cream in Vollen
Especially in the summer season, there are lots of places where you can enjoy some delicious Norwegian ice-cream in Vollen village. Here are some we recommend: In the picture below, Sofie is enjoying a BIG soft ice from Vollen Marina sports shop. This is the store...
Tusenfryd Amusement Park
Tusenfryd Amusement Park is open from spring to autumn. In 2019, the park opens on the 27th April. During May, the park is open only at weekends and on public holidays but you must always check opening times and also if the park is closed for special...