Swedish National Day by Year
Swedish National Day is celebrated annually on June 6th. It commemorates the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523.
This event was considered to mark the foundation of modern Sweden.
Some historians may point to other key dates as better examples of the foundation of the state, however this event did signify the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union, so it does accurately mark Swedish independence.
The date of 6 June is also notable in Sweden as on that day in 1809, the Instrument of Government was adopted, forming a key part of Sweden's constitution.
Surprisingly for a holiday that remembers such an old event, it only became a public holiday rather more recently, in 2005.
Even the tradition of celebrating this date is not that old. The idea of celebrating the past events of 6 June can be dated back to 1893 when it was first celebrated at the Skansen, an open-air museum in Stockholm. By the 1910s celebrations were being held on 6 June at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium.
Up to 1983, the holiday was known as 'Swedish Flag day' and until 2005, National Day was only a public holiday for banks and civil servants. Rather than give everyone an extra day off, the Swedish government decreed that the holiday of WhitMonday would no longer be recognized as a public holiday. (poor old WhitMonday suffered a similar fate in the UK when it was replaced by the late May bank holiday).
However the change meant that the Swedish would have less holidays over several years, as the National Day was fixed to 6 June meaning it could fall on a Saturday or Sunday, unlike Whit Monday, which was always celebrated on a Monday.
This led to complaints from some Swedish unions, though the issue has now been resolved by giving everyone an extra eight hours of time-off to use when they want.