Today is the Swedish national day. The day was made into a national day
by the Riksdag
(Swedish parliament) in 1983
, before which it was just revered as the Swedish flag
day or Day of the Swedish flag.
The tradition of celebrating this date began in the 1920s
, in honour of the election of King Gustav Vasa
, as this was considered the foundation of modern Sweden
Some question the validity of this as a national holiday
, as it was not observed as a holiday until decades later. However this event does signify the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union, so in a sense it is a marking of Swedish independence, though the event occurred so long ago that it does not have as strong of a presence in the social consciousness as does, for example, Norway
's Syttende Mai
In 2005 it became an official Swedish public holiday
, taking that honour from Whit Monday
. This change led to fewer days off from work (more working-days) as the 6th of June will periodically fall on the weekend, unlike Whit Monday, which was always celebrated on a Monday. This has in turn led to complaints from some Swedish unions
So how do Swedes celebrate this holiday- The answer is. They do not. Instead it has become a day when the police is on high alert, anticipating clashes between leftist radicals and nazi/nationalists.
In Sweden, actually waving our flag is concidered to be something bad, only done by hard core nationalists. The only exception is during sports events like international soccer or hockey games. Then Swedes almost tie themselves in a knot trying to express their allegiance. The irony is that marching with a red flag or even a soviet flag on the first of May is concidered by most Swedes to be A- OK!
Another ironic thing is that the leftist radicals and the nationalists has much more in common than there are differences. Both parties are protectionistic, anti- capitalistic, anti- jewish, pro- islamistic and want´s restrictions of the freedom of speach (for everybody else besides themselves of course). In Sweden we have a saying: Samma andas barn- Born out of the same womb, the funny thing is that neither of the fractions seems to understand that they are fighting (litteraly) for the same goal- A socialist state with a planned echonomy!
The sad thing is that there are so many of them. In a survey almost 35% of Swedish youths 15-25, expressed symphaty for either fractions cause.
Discussing with members of either fraction will instantly make you realize that they are using exactly the same rethorics. The only difference is that the nationalists takes their off- stamp in racism while the leftists does it in class and gender questions. But on the other hand the leftists are as racistic as the nationalists and the nationalists also uses the class and gender questions in their rethorics.
It´s really a flip of the coin with tails on both sides...