Swedes look to create new National Day traditionSwedes look to create new National Day tradition
Any tourists who happened to find themselves in the middle of Stockholm on Monday would never have guessed that Sweden’s National Day is in many ways a new tradition. Nor would they have guessed that many Swedes professed themselves to be apathetic about the celebrations, and that people were worried about the day being hijacked by extremist demonstrations. Celebrations for the first National Day to be declared a public holiday were held in towns and cities up and down the country. Yet perhaps naturally enough the national celebrations centred on Stockholm, the palace and the Royal Family.
Swedes sceptical towards National Day
Pär Nuder, finance minister, was hoping that June 6th, National Day, would be an opportunity to create a greater sense of community in Sweden and strengthen the Swedish identity. But according to a Temo research done for SAS, seven out of ten Swedes like the idea of being off on national day, but only one out of ten will wave the Swedish flag. This year is the first time that National Day will be marked with a public holiday, replacing the holiday for the second day of pentecost. The 6th June is the anniversary of the day Gustav Vasa was crowned king in 1523. Peter Aronsson, who is professor for cultural inheritance and history usage at the University of Linköping, thinks that the only thing that would make Swedes gather around a day to celebrate the nation is a war or other national drama.