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Swedish National Day

by Vishal Kumar

A relatively new festival the Swedish National Day is celebrated on 6th June every year. Also referred to as Sveriges nationaldag the celebrations are based in folk culture and traditions.…

A relatively new festival the Swedish National Day is celebrated on 6th June every year. Also referred to as Sveriges nationaldag the celebrations are based in folk culture and traditions. Food is an important part of the merrymaking on this day, which is highly regarded by the immigrants.

The Swedish National Day is also referred to as Sveriges nationaldag. The national holiday is celebrated every year on 6th June every year. The Riksdagen or Swedish Parliament designated it as a national day in 2004. It was previously celebrated as the Swedish Flag Day or svenska flaggans dag.

Swedish National Day Celebrations

The King and Queen of Sweden take part every year in celebrating the Sveriges nationaldag. The ceremonies take place at the open air museum at Skansen, Stockholm. The Swedish flag is lifted up to the mast and flows in all its pomp and glory. Flag waving, music, folk dances and speeches are important part of the festivities.

The children in Sweden also take part in the celebrations. Dressed in traditional peasant costumes they present the royal couple with bouquets made from summer flowers. Nowadays special ceremonies are also organized in order to welcome new citizens of Sweden. These events are held across the country.

On this day all the vehicles in Sweden are decorated with yellow and blue flags. In addition to the festivities at Stockholm many towns and cities across the country celebrate the occasion in a grand manner.

The national day cake competition is an integral part of the festivities and the winning cake gets to bear the Swedish flag.

Swedish National Day – recent developments and perceptions

In recent times a number of political groups have been trying their level best to introduce an Official National Dish and a National Pastry. These groups are also making efforts to get the nyckelharpa recognized as the National Instrument. However, a general agreement is yet to be reached on the matter.

People in Sweden are still trying to figure out how they can celebrate the day and there are still some questions as to how the day might be interpreted. However, it is assumed that the day would unite the people living in the country as it can be celebrated by all the residents irrespective of their religious and cultural preferences.

The celebrations are normally rooted in traditions and people in Sweden are also aware of the ways to celebrate them. However, Swedish experts opine that since it is a relatively new festival people are getting accustomed to celebrating it. The question of a local identity has also become important in this regard.

The immigrants normally regard the Swedish National Day with great reverence as receive their Swedish citizenship on this day and there is a great deal of pride involved. They consider it important to celebrate the national day of an independent and free country like Sweden.

Some Swedish Unions have complained against the Whit Monday being replaced by the Sveriges nationaldag. The day periodically occurs on weekends as against the Whit Monday, which was celebrated on Mondays.

Swedish National Day History

The Swedish National Day was celebrated for the first time at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium in 2005. The day commemorated the election of King Gustav Vasa, which took place in 1523. This day is normally regarded as the day when the foundations of modern Sweden were laid. The day was made an official public holiday in 2005 and replaced the Whit Monday. This means that the number of working days have now gone up in Sweden.

There have been some people who have questioned the logic of celebrating this day as the national day because of the fact that it was not celebrated for several decades. However, it marks the conclusion of the Kalmar Union, ruled by the Danish, and in a way signals Swedish independence.

There are some opinions, which state that the event happened long back for it to have a strong impact on the public consciousness like some other similar events like Syttende Mai of Norway.

Challenges facing Sweden

It is being assumed that in the coming years there would be a decrease in the native Swedish labor force. The country is in need of immigrants to sustain its workforce. Levels of unemployment were major problems during recession and several experts had called for campaigns to attract immigrants to the labor market in Sweden.

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