National Day of Sweden

May 26th, 2021

June 6th is the National Day of Sweden being called “Sveriges Nationaldag” by Swedes. June 6th was chosen due to the fact that on that day in 1523 A.D. Gustav Eriksson Vasa was elected as king of Sweden after the break of the union between Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, and as a result, Sweden was born, so to speak. June 6th also marks the day during which a new constitution was adopted in 1809. Before 1983 this day was known as Swedish Flag Day, and in 2005 it became an official Swedish public holiday, replacing Whit Monday.

On this day Swedes celebrate their nationality, and new Swedish citizens receive their certificate of citizenship and are welcomed by the king. For the most part, the celebrations during this day are fairly laid back. That being said, in Skansen, an open-air museum in Stockholm, there is an annual event that takes place in which children wearing traditional peasant costumes present flowers for the King and Queen of Sweden and after that, the flag is raised. The royal family also attends celebrations that include traditional folk dancing, flag making, history lectures, performances, and so forth.

One way in which you can observe this holiday is by enjoying Swedish Meatballs, which is a traditional meal. These meatballs can be served in different ways and with various side dishes. That being said, an authentic tradition is to serve them with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, gravy, and pickled cucumbers. Another thing you can do on this day is to read some works of Swedish writers such as Simon and the Oaks, Everything I Don’t Remember, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, among many other well-known books. On the other hand, if reading is not for you, then you can watch a movie or two such as Everlasting Moments, As It Is in Heaven, The Emigrants, or A Decent Life. 

 

You can also follow this celebration on social media with the following hashtags #Sverigesnationaldag #nationaldayofsweden or #swedenflagday.

 

In honor of National Day of Sweden we want to share some interesting facts that you may not know!

  • Stockholm has been the permanent capital of Sweden since 1523.
  • The Scandinavian Peninsula, on which Sweden is located, is geologically one of the oldest and most stable parts of the Earth’s crust.
  • Roughly 15% of Sweden lies within the Arctic Circle, as such during the summer there are at times only a few hours of semi-darkness, while in the middle of December some areas only receive four to five hours of twilight. 
  • About two-thirds of Sweden’s land area is covered by forest.
  • Moose freely roam around Sweden in great amounts. Depending on the time of year there are around 300,000 to 400,000 of them!
  • The Swedish Passport holds great power. Not only does it give entry to 124 countries without needing a visa, but Swedes can also obtain visas to another 33 countries upon arrival.
  • Swedes work an average of 1,611 hours per year.
  • About 99% of Sweden’s waste is recycled, and in addition to this other countries export their waste to Sweden for recycling.
  • Sweden has Freedom to Roam (Allemansrätten), meaning that people do not need to pay to walk, bike, ski, camp, etc. everywhere (minus a few exceptions of course such as private gardens), and they have the right to pick wild berries, flowers, mushrooms, and so forth.
  • H&M is a Swedish multinational clothing retail company.
  • Sweden’s ICEHOTEL is kept at -4 degrees celsius to preserve the hand-sculpted ice artworks and furnishes, and overnight guests can stay there in thermal sleeping bags with reindeer skins as bed linens. 
  • Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and coffee is a big part of the culture.