By chance we were in Norway at the time of Russefeiring, which runs from somewhere between April 1st or 20th, varying by city, to Syttende Mai, which is Constitution Day, the 17th of May. I had read about this a few years ago, but was under the misapprehension that it ran all year, and was a license for high school seniors to be just a bit wild and mischievous. It's briefer and more intense than that. Lots of drinking, lots of staying out all night, lots of casual sex. As if prom night went on for four weeks. I imagine a lot of the kids keep it fairly mild, but they've had problems nationally.
I had seen a lots of young people in highly-decorated red overalls and was trying to figure it out. Was it a team or club? They had their names in big letters. Was it some new fashion? I saw blue overalls as well, and a few white, and two of the black walking together. I asked Chris about it and I recognised it as he explained. We saw a few buses filled with lots of teenagers singing.
I ran up the Bing images of Russ adolescents for you here. Quite the display. I'm not sure what the sticks are for, but I believe they earn them by sleeping overnight in a tree.The other costumes in this picture are the bunad, the embroidered regional dress worn on special occasions.
Also of note. Some European countries criticise America for it's splashy patriotism and overuse of the flag, believing that a more subdued approach is more appropriate. Norway is not one of those countries. They only became a fully independent country in 1905 and they are openly patriotic and love to fly the flag.