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King Harald attends Sami people National Day celebrations

His Majesty King Harald of Norway attended Monday the opening of the Sami people’s National Day. This year’s National Day is very special because it marks 100 years since the first Sami congress took place in Trondheim, the city which this year is the host of the official Sami National Day celebration. Since 6 February 1993, that day has been celebrated by all Sami in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

The Cathedral Nidarosdomen is the largest church in Norway and built over the tomb of St. Olaf, the king who Christianized Norway in 1030. Photo: Holger Uwe Schmitt via Wikimedia Commons.

King Harald attended a service in Trondheim Cathedral, Nidaros. Before the King left the cathedral, he saw the new altar that will be in in the cathedral for years to come. The altar is formed by a Sami artist and made with traditional Sami handicrafts. After the service ended, King Harald officially opened an exhibition in Trondheim Archbishopfarm dedicated to Sami culture and history. Relics on display are part of a transfer of items from the Norwegian Folk Museum to the Sami Museum. The Norwegian Folk Museum is giving back more than 2,000 artefacts that they took from the Sami people in the 1800s.

Monday night, the King attended a concert in Trondheim dedicated the unique Sami heritage and status as Norwegian Aborigines. The production is a collaboration between the Sami National Theatre “Beaivváš” and the Norwegian National Radio Orchestra. It was performed various texts, joik (traditional Sami song), dance, photos, and music. This Monday’s events mark the start of a full year of events to celebrate the Sami people in Norway, and the Royal Family will attend more such events in the coming months.

King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon at the opening of the Sami Parliament. Photo: Stefan Mikalson via Wikimedia Commons.

Both King Harald and his son, Crown Prince Haakon perform the official openings of the Sami parliament in Norway. King Harald is the only monarch to have this as tradition despite His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden also being the official leader of the Swedish Sami people.

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