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Celebrating Sweden’s National Day 2023: 500 Years of Independence

Celebrating Sweden's National Day 2023: 500 Years of Independence

Sweden's national day is June 6th and in 2023 Sweden turns 500 years old. This year, we celebrate the National Day on June 6th with a day off and festivities to commemorate the country's independence. In this article, we will discuss why we celebrate the National Day, how it is celebrated, and what will be happening this year for the 500-year anniversary.

Why do we Celebrate Sweden's National Day?

Sweden's national day was previously known as Swedish Flag Day until it received the status of national day in 1983. Before then, Sweden was one of the few countries in the world that lacked an official national day.

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There are two historical events that make us celebrate the country. First, Gustav Vasa was elected king of Sweden on June 6th 1523, 500 years ago. In connection with that, Sweden became an independent country with its own king. The second event was on June 6th 1809, when the Riksdag signed the form of government that laid the foundation for modern Sweden.

Is National Day a Red Day?

Yes! The Swedish National Day became an official full day in 2005, thus replacing the second day of Pentecost, which was previously a full day. When National Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, employees may be compensated with another day off until the Friday before June 6th or the Monday after. However, this depends on what the union and employer have agreed on. This year, National Day falls on a Tuesday so there will be a squeeze day between Sunday and Tuesday, Monday 5th June 2023, so schools are closed and many people will be off work.

National Day Celebration 2023 – Sweden 500 Years

National Day is celebrated all over the country but Skansen in Stockholm is the center of celebration this year for its 500-year anniversary. During the day there will be activities for all ages and in the evening there will be music and speeches to celebrate Sweden from Sollidenscenen and on SVT with Anne Lundberg and Micke Lejnegard as presenters. The Royal Family will arrive by horse and carriage too!

The Royal Couple will begin National Day by visiting Strängnäs to draw attention to Gustav Vasa being elected king exactly there in 1523. The celebration begins at 10am in Strängnäs Cathedral.

Additionally, another tradition that began when National Day became a red day in 2005 is that the King opens up parts of the Royal Palace to visitors for free. This year too, the Palace's gates open at 10am by Crown Princess Couple and will stay open until 5pm with free entry to its halls, museums, exhibitions and activities. There will also be celebrations at Drottningsholm’s castle park, Hagaparken and Gripsholm Castle.

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