National Day in Sweden in 2021

  How long until National Day?
National Day
  Dates of National Day in Sweden
2022 Sweden Mon, Jun 6 National Holiday
2021 Sweden Sun, Jun 6 National Holiday
2020 Sweden Sat, Jun 6 National Holiday
2019 Sweden Thu, Jun 6 National Holiday
2018 Sweden Wed, Jun 6 National Holiday

Commemorates the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523

  Local name
Sveriges nationaldag

When is Swedish National Day?

Swedish National Day is celebrated annually on June 6th.

Also known as Svenska Flaggans Day (Swedish Flag Day), 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 June 6th 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. June 6th is also the day when new Swedish citizens receive their official documents.

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 June 6th 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 June 6th 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 fewer holidays over several years, as the National Day was fixed to June 6th 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.

National Day is celebrated with parades and marching bands. The Swedish royal family traditionally appear at Skansen, an open-air entertainment park and museum in Stockholm.

Today is Sweden's Flag Day, though the current flag was adopted on June 22nd 1906. The blue and yellow colours of the cross are based on the Swedish coat of arms (three gold crowns in a blue field) and date back to the 14th century.

Did you know?

Three facts about National Day

In Sweden, your car headlights have to be on at all times when driving, even in broad daylight.

Sweden has the oldest central bank in the world which began operating in 1668.

Sweden has the highest number of McDonald’s restaurants per capita in Europe, with 227 restaurants.

More facts about National Day

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