When is Swedish National Day?
How long until National Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 72 Days.|
Dates of National Day
|Commemorates the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, considered the foundation of modern Sweden.|
Swedish National Day is celebrated annually on June 6th.
This public holiday commemorates the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523.
History of Swedish National Day
The election of King Gustav is 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 Whit Monday would no longer be recognized as a public holiday. (poor old Whit Monday 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.
Did you know?
Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union by area, yet has the second lowest population density (23.5 people per sq km)
Swedish wasn't made the official language of Sweden until 2009.
In Sweden people go into the woods very early in the morning on Ascension Day to hear the birds at sunrise. It is said to be good luck if a cuckoo is heard from the east or west.
In Sweden, your car headlights have to be on at all times when driving, even in broad daylight.
Sweden has the highest number of choirs per capita in the world.