National Day of Sweden

Ever since 1893, Sweden’s National Day has traditionally been commemorated at Skansen on 6 June. We celebrate in the presence of the royal family, with music, speeches and banner presentations.

  • A tradition which originated at Skansen

    “A celebration of patriotic memories has been instituted at Skansen on 6 June, Gustav’s name day, which has been celebrated there and will henceforth be celebrated as the Swedish national day,” wrote Skansen’s founder Artur Hazelius in the annual report for 1893.

    Earlier that year, he had established a holiday to bring the nation together, inspired by the national days of neighbouring Norway and Denmark, and he chose 6 June as the date for Sweden. This was the day when Gustav Vasa had been proclaimed king in 1523, and it was also the same day in 1809 on which the constitution which applied at that time had been signed.

    Celebrations over the years

    Ever since 1893, Sweden’s National Day has traditionally been celebrated at Skansen. For the first few years, the day began as a spring festival and ended with a ceremonial programme in the evening. This national celebration proved to be a great success straight away, and the second year saw thousands of school children marching to Skansen, waving the blue and yellow Swedish flag which quickly became a symbol of the celebration. This also popularised and firmly established the Swedish flag with the general public, as it had not previously been commonly used on land – flags had mostly been used at sea.

    Up until 1916, Sweden’s National Day had been unofficial. Now, however, it became established as Swedish Flag Day, and in 1983 it finally became Sweden’s official national day.

    In 2005, 6 June was declared an official holiday for the first time. Today, the festivities at Skansen take place in the presence of the royal family, with a traditional evening programme including music, speeches and banner presentations, while during the day there are many activities for visitors of all ages.