Swedish National Day

Summer in Sweden is full of great activities and traditional festivities, but Swedish National Day, on June 6th, is arguably the most important as it celebrates both Swedish independence and the evolution of Sweden into a modern country. June 6th represents both Gustav Vasa's inauguration as king in 1523, which provided the foundation for an independent Swedish state, and the approval of a new, more modernized constitution in 1809 that included Swedish citizens' civil rights and liberties. Becoming a public holiday in 2005, Swedish National Day encourages Swedes to take pride in their heritage and celebrate their beloved country. Additionally, newly accepted Swedish citizens celebrate their new homeland and the start of new traditions during special ceremonies held across the country. To get in to the spirit of the day, many Swedes flock to Stockholm's open-air museum, Skansen, to watch the King and Queen take part in the National Day ceremony, featuring traditional music and dancing, the presentation of summer flowers to the royal family and Swedish flag waving. Throughout the rest of the country as well, National Day will be celebrated with festivals and family picnics that honor Swedish culture and food. Many will enjoy some Nationaldagsbakelse, the strawberry and almond paste pastry that won the National Day cake competition and flies the Swedish flag proudly.