Swedish National Day
Sweden just got a little older!
June 6th has always been a special day for Swedes, but not one they were able to always get work off. After 2004, Parliament decided that June 6th would be considered a public holiday, or a “red day” as they’re known as locally. Swedes take the time off to celebrate their beautiful country and welcome new Swedish citizens as well. Every year the King and Queen go to Skansen to meet with local children who gift them with bouquets of fresh summer flowers. The Royal Couple also hoists a Swedish flag together during the ceremony and some speeches are given.
Although technically not a public holiday, June 6th has been celebrated as the National Day since the early 1900’s, with celebrations starting out at the Olympic Stadium here in Stockholm.
Celebrating the National Day is not exactly a huge thing in Sweden. Some say it’s because the government determined it a National Day and that nothing too significant actually happened. However, there were in fact two significant events that occurred on June 6th that made Swede’s choose it specifically.
Firstly, Gustav Vasa was anointed King of Sweden back in 1523. This is considered to be the beginning of what’s known as modern day Sweden.
In addition to Vasa, it also marks the end of the “Kalmar Union”, a union formed by Denmark, Norway and Sweden. This saw the three countries ruled by a single monarch from the 1300’s to 1523. In other words, when Vasa became King Sweden essentially gained its independance.
Secondly, On the same day, but in 1809 and 1974, Sweden updated and adopted it’s constitution. The first adopted constitution was used for almost 200 years and essentially put Sweden where it is today. In 1974 it was updated to be slightly more current.
Although the celebrations are not as extravagant as the US or even Sweden’s neighbors, Norway, everyone is allowed to feel a little special on their birthday, right?