Friday, 6 June 2008

National Day of Sweden

Today is the National Day of Sweden. Hip hourray!

(Picture borrowed from

The tradition of celebrating this date began in the 1910s, in honour of the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, as this was considered the foundation of modern Sweden.
This event did signify the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union, so in a sense it is a marking of Swedish independence, though the event occurred so long ago that it does not have a strong presence in the social consciousness of today.

(Image from

In 2005 it became an official Swedish public holiday (taking that honour from Whit Monday) - all in line of trying to make it a more celebrated day.
Sweden has not taken part in any of the wars of the modern era, which may explain the Swedes’ somewhat guarded attitude towards celebrating a national day. Most don't seem to feel any great need to celebrate it.
By making it a public holiday in 2005, they were trying to make it a day purely for festivities - like the "Syttende Mai" in Norway or the 14th of July in France.
I think that was a good idea - more festivities for the people!

So how are we going to celebrate? Well, we did all get invited over to Singapore, to join their celebrations; but I can't go since Nathan is in Perth. The other (two...) Swedes here are very busy today, so I will be taking my flag, and a kladdkaka (yummy chocolate cake) and have celebration coffee together with the Danes. That's ok too!

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