National Day, formerly called “Swedish Flag Day”, is a patriotic holiday in Sweden that is celebrated annually on 6 June with a public holiday.
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One reason the date of 6 June was chosen because it is the day in 1523 when Sweden became independent of the Union of Kalmar, which had formerly united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. It was a genuine new start for Sweden, and it was the occasion of their electing Gustav Vasa as their king and adopting their own flag.
The second reason for choosing 6 June is that, in 1809, Sweden adopted a new constitution on that date.
The tradition of celebrating 6 June as Flag Day began in the 1890s, when Artur Hazelius held such celebrations at his Stockholm-based open-air museum named “Skansen.” In 1916, the tradition gained yet more steam when it was honoured at the Stockholm Olympics.
In 1983, the name was changed to “National Day” by the Swedish parliament, and in 2004, it was finally voted an official public holiday.
The main celebration of National Day is still at Skansen. The king and queen arrive for the ceremonial raising of the Swedish flag, a yellow cross against a blue field, to the top of the flag pole. Kids dress up in traditional clothing then bring the king and queen bouquets of beautiful, Swedish flowers.
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