The second semester of this school year ends last week, it is time to plan for a splendid summer! If you will also in Sweden in the coming months, the Swedish National Day on 6th June is the second biggest highlight in June (while the biggest is without a doubt the Mid-summer day).
It seems a big annual celebration though, but I discovered that most of my international friends do not have any clues on what it is. Therefore, before giving some tips on how you may plan this day at the last minute, I will talk about its historical meaning shortly (in 100 words):
Long, long time ago in 1523, Gustav Vasa was crowned as King of Sweden on 6th June. He later led the country towards an independent state, no longer under the shadow of Kalmar Union. Obviously, this special day half a millennium ago did not arose a major interest from the Swedes, because they didn’t decide to make it a public holiday until 2004.
King Gustav Vasa, photo from wikipedia
By the way, I feel that it is important to mention, that Gustav Vasa did NOT order to build the warship Vasa, which sank after a few minutes by a breeze in her maiden voyage, due to her own weight.
Now let’s back to our topic on the last-minute plans for this special day.
Skansen: whole day
Folk dancing during the National Day, Photo from Skansen.se
The tradition of celebrating national day in Sweden started at Skansen from the 19th century. Indeed, the concept of “national day” was proposed by Skansen’s founder Artur Hazels. It is a must-go spot if you plan for the whole day, you are a foreigner who wants to known more about traditional Sweden: there are activities, including folk dancing, flag-making, concert from 10 to the night, and you are going to see the Royal family there!
2. Royal Palace of Stockholm: 10-17
The Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, photo from Kungahuset
During the national day, the castle of Royal Palace is open to the public with free entry. There, you will be welcome by Prince Carl Philip. Take this chance to see the UNESCO magnificent edifice! Besides, there are celebration at other royal castles which are slightly farther from the city center, such as the beautiful Drottningholm Palace and Görvälns slott (in Järfälla with Crown Princess Victoria)
Görvälns slott: jarfalla.se/…/2017-04-21-fira-national-dagen-vid-gorvalns-slott
3. Haga Park: whole-day
Haga Park in Summer
Haga Park lies in the North of Stockholm city near Karolinska hospital, it is always listed as one of the favorite parks by the local. Indeed, a local friend highly recommended the free concert by Royal Swedish Opera to me. If you are not a fans of opera, there are national day’s celebration in multiple forms in the park, so check how the Swedes celebrate their day!
Programs by Royal Swedish Opera: operan.se/…ida/nationaldagen-i-hagaparken
Enjoy the national day 😉