National Day in Sweden in 2024

  How long until National Day?
National Day
  Dates of National Day in Sweden
2025 Sweden Fri, Jun 6 National Holiday
2024 Sweden Thu, Jun 6 National Holiday
2023 Sweden Tue, Jun 6 National Holiday
2022 Sweden Mon, Jun 6 National Holiday
2021 Sweden Sun, 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 two historical anniversaries: the coronation of King Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the ratification of the modern constitution on this day in 1809, which established a separation of governmental power. 

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 museum's founder, Artur Hazelius. 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.

How is Swedish National Day Celebrated?

National Day is celebrated with parades, marching bands and local folk band performances. Normally, the King and Queen of Sweden take part in a ceremony at the Skansen. The yellow and blue Swedish flag is run up the mast, and children in traditional peasant costume present the royal couple with bouquets of summer flowers.

Swedish Flag Day

Today is also 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

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)

Sweden and Finland are the only countries in the world that have earned a medal at every Olympics since 1908.

Sweden has 267,570 islands, making it the country in the world with the most islands.

More facts about National Day

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