Posted on June 6, 2016
Sweden's national day harkens back to the election of King Gustav Vasa, waaaaayyyy back in 1523, because that is considered the beginning of modern Sweden.
However, this holiday wasn't celebrated all those centuries. Celebrating June 6 only began in 1916, and it was then called “Swedish Flag Day.” It's only been since 1983 that it has been considered the “national day.”
Speaking of Sweden's flag, it is a Scandinavian cross of gold on a field of blue:
If you don't know why it's called a “Scandinavian cross,” check out all the flags of Scandinavia:
What do you think of when you hear the name “Sweden”?
When I was a kid, I thought of food, because we used to go out to eat at a Swedish smorgasbord (a buffet-type restaurant), and two of my favorite party foods were Swedish meatballs and Swedish snowball cookies.
|A lot of Swedish people have blond hair.|
Now that I'm an adult, I tend to think of blond people (about 80% of the population has fair hair!), St. Lucia Day in the winter and the midnight sun in the summer, the Sami people who live in the Arctic regions, and really good social services for all citizens. I think of a society that is modern, ecological, economically strong, and egalitarian (which means that equality, including gender equality, is very important there).
And of course I think of Ikea.
Here are some other things of interest in Sweden:
- The Vasa museum displays a battle ship that sank on it maiden voyage in 1628. This ship lay below icy waters for more than 300 years but in 1961 was brought up to the surface for all to enjoy as a kind of time capsule.
- There are many old and charming towns, such as Visby:
- And of course there are gorgeous cathedrals and castles, such as Kalmar Castle:
- Abisko National Park is within the Sami's land.
- Sweden is a great place to go to see the Northern Lights!
- Every year an ice hotel is built in the colder Arctic regions.
- Sweden has some beautiful mountains and waterfalls...
Also on this date:
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