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Liberation Day

Oslo, 8 May 1945. Photo:

Today is an important day in Norwegian history as it marks the day when German military forces capitulated after having occupied Norway for five years during World War II, from 9 April 1940 to 8 May 1945.

The Norwegian people took to the streets in order to celebrate their freedom. Soldiers and prisoners of war came home in the days after May 8, and the rejoice was great. The blackout curtains could be burned and the Norwegian flag could once again wave freely. For the vast majority the celebration was a joyful time, but many people were missing and some never got their loved ones home.

The celebration that began on May 8 lasted for a whole month and reached its peak when King Haakon returned home to Oslo June 7 after five years in England.

May 8 is an official flag day in Norway, and is today marked with speeches and events.
In other European countries, the day is referred to as Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day.