6:e Juni, Nationaldagen

Sweden's National Day is June 6. Only since the early 20th century has it been considered the Day of the Swedish Flag, becoming a national holiday as late as 2004.  

  • Nationaldagen 2016: Princess Estelle, 4, and Prince Oscar, 3 months. Photo Kate Gabor / Kungahuset.se
  • June 6, Sweden's National Day
    For a long time Sweden was perhaps the only country in the world with no official national day, which may be fairly symptomatic of the Swedes' general skepticism of patriotic manifestations. On the other hand, there are few countries in the world where private flag poles are as common as in Sweden, and both on June 6 and other “public flag days,” such as Midsummer Day, the blue and yellow flags will be seen fluttering in most gardens, outside country cottages and from tower block balconies.

  • Nationaldagen 2016: Princess Estelle at Skansen. Photo Kate Gabor / Kungahuset.se
  • Also called the day of Gustav Vasa it was initially - from the 19th century - to honor June 6, 1523, the day Gustav Vasa was elected Sweden’s King, and the Kalmar Union was finally dissolved. Gustav Vasa, born Gustav Eriksson or colloquially Gösta Jerksson, lead the rebellion against Christian II of Denmark, the leader of the Kalmar Union who controlled most of Sweden at the time. He was the first native Swedish sovereign and was considered a liberator of the country.

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  • The events made Sweden a sovereign state once again and are generally considered the foundation of modern Sweden.

  • The colors of the Swedish flag are derived from the state coat of arms of 1364 and the Scandinavian cross in its present form and colors was adopted on June 22, 1906.
  • The new constitution and government proclamation of 1809 was also made on June 6, as was the proclamation of 1974. Although celebrated as a Flag Day, it was not until 1983 that June 6 officially became the national day. It remained a regular working day for over 20 years after this, possibly to balance any unwanted tendencies of nationalism which were not considered desirable.

  • Swedish flag flying in front of Lunds Domkyrka (Lund Cathedral). Photo by Brian McMorrow, Pbase.
  • The Riksdagen – Sweden’s parliament – made June 6 a national holiday in 2004. The decision made the third day of Whit, Whit Monday (following Whit Sunday or Pentecost), into an ordinary day and Swedes got a longer work week at the Whitsun holidays beginning in 2005. June 6 then became a day off no matter what day it falls on.

  • Stockholm prepared for celebrations for a year during the year of Crown Princess Victoria's wedding in 2010, the events kicked off on June 6. View of Stockholm City Hall. Photo: Alexander Dokukin, Stockholm Visitors Board
  • While celebrations on June 6 itself may be low-key when compared with our July 4 in the U.S., there are usually celebrations in many parts of Swedish America - all of them canceled this year due to the pandemic. Check Sweden live: National Day@home - a 24-hour livestream with Swedish artists playing from their homes, chefs cooking and glimpses from Swedish museums.

  • All is set, summer is here: June 6, the official Swedish National Day, marks the begining of a celebration culminating at this year's Midsummer. Photo: Yanan Li, Stockholm Visitors Board
  • The Swedish National Anthem

  • Princess Estelle, 5, and Prince Oscar, 15 months, celebrate National Day 2017 at their home, Haga Slott. Photo by Erika Gerdemark/Kungahuset.se
  • In Swedish
    Du gamla, du fria, du fjällhöga Nord,
    du tysta, du glädjerika sköna!
    Jag hälsar dig, vänaste land uppå jord,
    din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna,
    din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna.

  • Nationaldagen 2016: Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia arrive with Prince Alexander at the castle for Nationaldagen festivities. Photo Kungahuset
  • Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar,
    då ärat ditt namn flög över jorden.
    Jag vet, att du är och du blir vad du var.
    Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden!
    Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden!

  • Summer at Nybroviken in Stockholm's city center.
  • In English
    Thou ancient, thou freeborn, thou mountainous North,
    In beauty and peace our hearts beguiling,
    I greet thee, thou loveliest land on the earth,
    Thy sun, thy skies, thy verdant meadows smiling.
    Thy sun, thy skies, thy verdant meadows smiling.

  • Thy throne rests on mem’ries from great days of yore,
    When worldwide renown was valour’s guerdon.
    I know to thy name thou art true as before.
    Oh, I would live and I would die in Sweden,
    Oh, I would live and I would die in Sweden.

  • Listen to the music:
    Click for link to melody only