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Norwegian Bunad explained

When I attend events with my Norwegian baked goodies, I like to wear my bunad - a traditional Norwegian folk costume.

The bunad I am wearing is from the Østfold region, south eastern Norway, as my great great grandmother Anne Hansen was born and brought up in Fredrikstad. She married and moved to the UK, returning to Fredrikstad with her five children by 1900 where she remained until she passed away on 15 September 1930 at the age of 81.

Here's a bit more information about the bunad...


Bunad is a Norwegian umbrella term encompassing, in its broadest sense, a range of both traditional rural clothes (mostly dating to the 19th and 18th centuries) as well as modern 20th-century folk costumes.

The Bunad movement has its root in 19th-century national romanticism, which included an interest for traditional folk costumes not only in Norway, but also in neighbouring countries, such as Denmark and Germany.

However, in Norway, national romanticist ideas had a more lasting impact, as seen in the use of folk-inspired costumes.

Bunads are always worn on Norwegian Constitution Day (17 May), which is the national day of Norway and is an official public holiday.

Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as 'syttende mai' ('seventeenth May', Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day).

Bunads are also worn at weddings, confirmations, funerals and at black tie events.


The embroidery in the bunad is done by hand and the dress is made to allow for taking in and letting out so that it will last a lifetime!

Bunad jewellery & accessories

Silver was a very important material in Norway, steeped in superstition and legend.

According to one legend, the silver mines belonged to the mountain trolls as they were such good silversmiths.

For many years silver was used by locals to protect themselves against bad weather and storms, to heal illness, and even to consecrate water.

According to some stories, a silver brooch would often be pinned on the clothing of a baby so trolls couldn't swap the infant with one of their own!


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