Today is sixth of June, Sweden’s national day. National day? you say and think of parades, flags and fireworks flying about and families getting together to mark the occasion with foods and festivities.
However, it might be the most low-key celebration of any nation. Ever. Only a few years ago, the sixth became a holiday in Sweden and we Swedes are frankly still not sure what to do with it. We do not have a history of parading, as we are not a military nation and have been lucky (or aloof) enough to avoid wars for more than 200 years. Waiving a Swedish flag in Sweden is not encouraged. We feel it is somehow boastful and much too nationalistic. Fireworks would not work against the light summer skies – remember the midnight sun?
Some Swedes say that our midsummer celebrations at the end of this month is when our Swedishness really shines though: families meet, traditional food and drink are prepared and strange nationalistic behavior like building a flower pole, dancing and singing is proclaimed – so maybe that would be a better national day?
See my earlier five (!) posts about midsummer celebrations here. Typically, I have never written about the national day before.
Pic from last year’s midsummer celebrations with family in friends in Sweden.