For the last 28 years, Sweden’s National Day has celebrated on June 6. The day may not go back very far, but it is very much a part of welcoming summer today as a ‘Red day,’ or nationwide day off.
So why celebrate on the 6th of June? Well, for one thing, King Gustav Vasa was supposedly crowned king waaaaaaay back (as in 1523 way back) on June 6, marking the end of Danish domination over all of Scandinavia. Then, on June 6, 1809, a new constitution was approved in Sweden, limiting the monarchy’s power. So it’s a pretty important day.
We celebrated the occasion in gorgeous Hagaparken with a picnic of crayfish, champagne, strawberries, chocolate cake, brie, and sandwiches. Despite it’s close proximity to our flat, we had never been to Hagaparken before. It is truly a beautiful place, and on such an incredible day – cloudless skies, about 80 degrees – it was heaven, with its winding paths through lush forests and cliffs along blue lakes.
Entertainment in Hagapark’s natural amphitheatre included singing of the national anthem as well as performances by opera singers from Stockholm’s Kungliga Operan and by Caroline af Ugglas, Sweden’s very own Janis Joplin. A great day in Sweden for sure. Now looking forward to the next national celebration: Midsummer!