King Harald V’s Day 2024 (Norway): Learn about its History, and Facts

Norway honors King Harald V's Day on February 21, recognizing his significant contributions to society and politics, modernizing the monarchy, and granting unprecedented press access.

King Harald V’s Day 2024 (Norway): Norway celebrates King Harald V’s Day on February 21 with the raising of flags and a tribute to their monarch. This day marks the birth of King Harald V, a visionary monarch who has made significant contributions to Norwegian society and politics. Despite appearing reserved to the outside world, King Harald V is widely acknowledged in Norway for his efforts in modernizing the monarchy and making it more accessible.

Under his reign, the Norwegian royal family was granted unprecedented access to the press, including interviews with the monarch, which are rare in European royalty history. Despite holding a symbolic position, King Harald V is not hesitant to express his political views when necessary.

King Harald V’s Day: History

King Harald V was born during the end of World War II, and his family had to evacuate Oslo due to the German invasion in April 1940. They relocated to Sweden and later to the United States, where King Harald spent most of his childhood in Washington, D.C. The royal family returned to Norway in 1945 after the Allied victory, and King Harald V ascended to the throne in 1991 following the death of his father, King Olav V.

King Harald V has gained admiration for his reserved yet effective leadership style, breaking royal traditions by marrying for love rather than into royalty or nobility. Despite Norway being a constitutional monarchy with limited political authority for the monarch, King Harald V has been vocal about issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and religious tolerance, providing solace to the Norwegian people during difficult times, including the 2011 terrorist attacks. The monarchy remains popular in Norway due to King Harald V’s values and actions, despite growing Republican sentiments seeking its abolition.

King Harald V’s Day 2024: FAQs

  •  Yes, Norway still has a monarch who serves as the symbolic leader of the state, while elected bodies hold legislative and executive authority.
  •  The name Harald translates to “army leader” in Old English and Old Norse.
  •  Harald Fairhair is widely regarded as the first Norwegian monarch to unify the country’s various kingdoms in 1885.

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King Harald V’s Day Celebrations:

  •  Norwegians commemorate the day by raising flags and celebrating the royal family’s anniversaries.
  •  Visitors to Norway can embrace the festivities, explore Norwegian trivia, or prepare traditional Norwegian dishes like Fårikål, a lamb and cabbage stew.

Five Astonishing Facts About Norway:

  •  The Sami people primarily inhabit Norway, with half residing in Finnmark County.
  •  The Laerdal Tunnel is the world’s longest road tunnel, at 15 miles.
  •  The Sami Parliament symbolically represents the Sami tent.
  •  The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in Oslo since 1901.
  •  The Storskog Crossing is the northernmost border crossing in Europe.

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Why King Harald’s Day is Unique:

  •  It honors Norway’s current monarch and celebrates Norwegian development and history.
  •  King Harald V believes in balancing modernity and tradition, avoiding the dismissal of historical artifacts.
  •  The celebration blends nostalgia with visions of the future, reflecting on the past while looking forward to what lies ahead.

KING Harald’s Day Dates

2024February 21Wednesday
2025February 21Friday
2026February 21Saturday
2027February 21Sunday
2028February 21Monday

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