On June 6th, Sweden will celebrate their national day. For many years, the day was celebrated as the Swedish Flag Day, but in 1983, the government decreed that it would be celebrated as Sveriges nationaldag. Since 2005, the holiday has been designated a public holiday and shows up as a red day on the calendar. And we all know what red days mean in Sweden – no work.
There are several important events in Swedish history which occurred on the 6th of June. However, many people point to the election of Gustav Vasa as king in 1523. Until that point, Sweden had been a part of the Kalmar Union, which was ruled by the Danish king. A second June 6th occurrence though is sometimes referenced as well. This one from 1809. In 1809, an Instrument of Government or regeringsform, was decided upon. This made up an important part of the Swedish Constitution because it separated powers between the King and Parliament. The 1809 års regeringsform was in effect until the 1974.
That was a whole lot of dates, with plenty of changes along the way. And that is one thing that makes the holiday somewhat fluid. Because there have been so many changes and because the day off from work is so new, it seems many people are still creating traditions around the holiday. Today though, the biggest celebration is held at Skansen.
Skansen is a beautiful open-air museum on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm. It is often described as a folklife museum that offers visitors a chance to see various aspects of Swedish life from the 18th century onward. Skansen celebrates several holidays throughout the year including Midsummer and St. Lucia. Sveriges nationaldag though is celebrated with folk dances, speeches, and a visit by the King and Queen of Sweden.
Will you be celebrating the holiday in Sweden? Or maybe outside of Sweden even?