Today, the 6th of June, we are celebrating Swedish National Day. This year is unique because we have the 500th anniversary of the day when Gustav Vasa was elected the King in 1523.
History of Nationaldagen
6th June 1523, the day of the election of Gustav Vasa, is considered the foundation of modern Sweden. However, it wasn’t celebrated by 1916. Some people question if 6tf June should even be called the National Day if the real independence Sweden gained after the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union.
Before 1983, 6th June was celebrated as Swedish Flag Day. In 1983, the Parliament of Sweden changed the name of this day to Sveriges Nationaldagen (The Swedish National Day).
This day is also a celebration of adapting the new constitution in 1809.
Swedish National Day has been a bank holiday since 2005, which also means that Systembolaget is closed on that day.
Nationaldagen official celebrations
The biggest celebrations take place, of course, in Stockholm. The celebration begins with a festive gathering in Strängnäs cathedral. Then, the celebration takes place in Västerviken, where the King distributes flags and makes a ceremonial speech. Later, The King and The Queen travel to Skansen where official celebrations continue. Skansen celebrations could be watched online at SVT1, 8-9:50 pm.
During Nationaldagen, the large parts of The Royal Castle are open for visitors without the usual entry fees.
Other cities and regions organize their own celebrations in different, important parts of communes (main squares, biggest parks, etc.). One of the most important parts is always welcoming of the new citizens.
Welcoming the new citizens
Every year, during Swedish National Day, communes welcome all new citizens that live within their borders. That means, in 2023 we welcome citizens who got the right to a Swedish passport in 2022. It is surely a big event for all new Swedish citizens and a chance to feel part of the community for the first time. I can imagine it could be also a moving moment and, to be honest, I can’t wait until this day would be also my day.
Other ways to celebrate
Because Swedish National Day is quite a new bank holiday, there is no specific tradition about how people should celebrate. It is popular to just spend time outdoors or organize BBQ with friends (which is a good way to spend free time in Sweden in general). Some stores introduce cake with cream and strawberries (which is eaten also during Midsommar) and other pastries (like almond cookies with the Swedish flag on top).
We are going to be for you in Malmö, at Nationaldagen’s official celebrations and welcoming of new citizens. Follow us on Instagram to see the stories from this day.