June 6, 1523 - Gustav Vasa

6 June 1523 – Gustav Vasa – Sweden's National Day

Gustav Vasa's background and rise to power

Gustav Eriksson, better known as Gustav Vasa, was born around 1496 and belonged to one of the most prominent noble families in Sweden. His father, Erik Johansson Vasa, was one of the leading opponents of King Christian II of Denmark, who also ruled Sweden through the Kalmar Union. When Christian II conquered Stockholm in 1520, he had many of his opponents executed, including Gustav Vasa's father, in what became known as the Stockholm Massacre. This brutal action created great outrage in Sweden and lit the spark for an uprising.

The beginning of the rebellion and the resistance against the Danes

After the Stockholm massacre, Gustav Vasa fled to Dalarna to seek support for a rebellion against the Danes. Despite a dubious beginning, where he was almost handed over to the Danes, he managed to convince the Dala farmers of the necessity of an uprising. With their support, he was able to launch a successful guerrilla war against the Danish troops. His successes attracted more and more followers, and soon he had a considerable force under his command.

Sweden breaks with the Kalmar union

Gustav Vasa's rebellion and the growing Swedish resistance movement against Danish supremacy led many Swedish citizens and nobles to question the legitimacy of the Kalmar Union. This union, which had been formed in 1397, united the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden under a single monarch. But many Swedes felt that the union benefited Denmark at Sweden's expense. Gustav Vasa used this feeling to further strengthen his position and argue for an independent Sweden.

Gustav Vasa's coronation and the centralization of power

On June 6, 1523, Gustav Vasa was crowned King of Sweden in Uppsala, which officially marked the end of the Kalmar Union and the beginning of the Vasa Dynasty. As king, Gustav Vasa worked to centralize power and strengthen royal authority. He implemented a series of reforms, including an ecclesiastical reform in which the church's wealth was confiscated, giving the crown increased financial resources. This reform also led to Sweden breaking with the Catholic Church and becoming Protestant.

Gustav Vasa's economic reforms

To consolidate his rule and secure Sweden's economic independence, Gustav Vasa carried out extensive economic reforms. He introduced a more systematic tax collection and took control of copper mining in Stora Kopparberget, which would become one of Sweden's most important sources of income. Through these measures, the king was able to finance his administration and defense without depending on the nobility.

Legacy and aftermath of Gustav Vasa

Gustav Vasa died in 1560, but his legacy lived on through the Vasa dynasty, which would rule Sweden for over a century. His decision to break with the Kalmar Union and establish Sweden as an independent nation still influences the country's identity today. He is often seen as the founder of modern Sweden and is a central figure in Swedish historiography.

June 6 – Sweden's National Day

In memory of Gustav Vasa's coronation day on June 6, this day is now celebrated as Sweden's national day. Although the day did not become an official national day until 1983, it has long been an important day for Swedes. It recalls Sweden's journey to independence and the role Gustav Vasa played in shaping the country's destiny. The day is filled with festivities and reflection on Sweden's rich history.

Gustav Vasa's relationship with the peasants and nobility

Although Gustav Vasa strengthened the royal power, he also carried out reforms that benefited the peasants, and this created a balanced relationship between the royal power, the nobility and the peasant population. To reduce the power of the nobility, he introduced a series of land reforms that limited their ability to exploit the peasantry. At the same time, he recognized the rights of the farmers and ensured that they had representation in the Riksdag. This combination of centralized royal power and respect for the rights of the peasants created a stable foundation for Swedish society.

Cultural and educational heritage

During Gustav Vasa's reign, culture and education also flourished in Sweden. He commissioned the translation of the Bible into Swedish, which resulted in Gustav Vasa's Bible in 1541. This was not only a religious achievement, but also a linguistic and educational one. The Swedish Bible translation played a central role in standardizing the Swedish language and increasing literacy among the population. This investment in education and culture would be decisive for Sweden's progress in the coming centuries.

Military reforms and Sweden's defence

To secure Sweden's independence and protect the country from external threats, Gustav Vasa carried out significant military reforms. He realized the importance of a strong and well-organized defense and therefore established a standing army. In addition, he modernized the fortifications around the country and established a Swedish navy. These initiatives not only strengthened Sweden's military position in the Nordic region, but also gave the country the tools it needed to become a major power in Europe in the coming centuries.

The reform of the legal system

During Gustav Vasa's rule, the Swedish legal system also underwent significant changes. He introduced laws that modernized the medieval legal system and laid the foundation for a more fair and organized judiciary. These reforms included, among other things, the introduction of written legal texts, which reduced arbitrariness in judicial decisions. He also sought to make the legal system more accessible to the common man by reducing the influence of the nobility over local courts.

Communication and infrastructure

To strengthen his rule and improve communication within the kingdom, Gustav Vasa also laid the foundations for the expansion of Sweden's infrastructure. He realized the importance of good communication routes and therefore started investing in the construction of roads and bridges. In addition, he promoted shipping by building harbors and canals. This investment in infrastructure not only brought economic benefits in the form of increased trade and communication, but also helped to tie together the different parts of the kingdom and strengthen national identity.

Midsummer Eve

Midsummer Eve

Midsummer Eve: An important tradition in Swedish culture

Midsummer Eve is an important weekend in Sweden and other Nordic countries, which is celebrated on the longest day of the year. It is a time of joy, celebration and the arrival of summer. The weekend has its roots in paganism, when it was celebrated as a holiday in honor of the sun. Today Midsommarafton is one of the most loved weekends in Sweden, and the celebration differs between different parts of the country.

The celebration of Midsummer Eve through the ages: From paganism to modern festivity

Midsummer Eve has its origins in paganism, when it was celebrated as a holiday in honor of the sun. The weekend was a symbol that summer had arrived and that the warmth and light would return. Over time, the celebration of Midsummer Eve has evolved and adapted to the Christian faith, but many of the traditional activities have been preserved.

In modern Sweden, Midsummer Eve is celebrated on June 20-22 every year, and the weekend is one of the most popular weekends in the country. Many people take time off from work and go home to their families to celebrate together. There are also many public celebrations and events that are arranged, such as dancing around the maypole and picnics in nature.

Midsummer Eve has also become an important tourist attraction, with many visitors traveling to Sweden to participate in the celebrations. The weekend has also become a symbol of Swedish culture and tradition worldwide.

How Midsummer's Eve is celebrated in Sweden: A guide to the traditional activities

Midsummer Eve is known for its traditional celebrations, which have been preserved through generations. One of the most iconic activities is the Maypole Dance, where people sing and dance around a pole decorated with flowers and ribbons. The dance symbolizes the sun's path through the sky and is an important part of the celebration.

Another tradition is to pick flowers and make wreaths to wear on the head. Many people choose to go out into nature and pick their own flowers, while others buy ready-made wreaths.

There are also a variety of traditional dishes eaten during Midsummer Eve, such as herring and smorgasbord. Herring is a type of pickled fish that is very popular in Sweden, while smörgåsbord is a meal consisting of a variety of starters, main courses and desserts.

Memories from Midsummer Eve: A personal story about the celebration of the summer holiday

Midsummer Eve is a weekend that has always been special to me. I remember how as a child I always woke up early in the morning to go out and pick flowers with my family. Then we went home and cooked a big dinner together, with all the different kinds of herring and smorgasbords that we loved. After dinner it was time to dance around the Maypole, and I remember how happily I laughed as I twirled around with my friends.

Even though I am no longer a child, Midsummer Eve is still one of my favorite holidays of the year. I always look forward to seeing my family and friends and celebrating together, and enjoying all the wonderful traditions that come with the weekend.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is celebrated in many countries in different ways

New Year's Eve is a holiday celebrated in many countries around the world. In Sweden, New Year's Eve is celebrated on December 31, and New Year's Day on January 1. New Year's Eve is one of the most popular holidays in Sweden, and it is common for families and friends to gather to celebrate together. There are different traditions for how to celebrate New Year's Eve, but the most common is to watch TV or go out and listen to music. New Year's Eve often ends with launching rockets or fireworks at midnight. This is a tradition that has its origins in Roman times, when braziers were lit in the square to scare away evil spirits. Today, the shooting of rockets and fireworks is merely a symbolic gesture, but it is still a very popular way to ring in the new year.

In some countries it is common to dance, eat and drink during the evening

In some countries it is common to dance, eat and drink during the evening. People drink New Year's drinks and eat New Year's food. There is also a New Year's dinner and New Year's supper. All these traditions have their own stories. Dancing, eating and drinking are common New Year's Eve activities in many countries around the world. People drink special New Year's drinks and eat traditional New Year's food. They also eat special New Year's meals such as New Year's dinner and New Year's Eve. In some countries, it is also customary to exchange New Year's gifts with family and friends. Regardless of the specific traditions, the celebration of the New Year is a cherished custom in many cultures.

Other countries use New Year's Eve to watch fireworks or light them themselves

In other countries, they prepare for the New Year in different ways. In Japan, people light lanterns and burn firecrackers to scare away evil spirits. In South America it is common to party all night and the fireworks are set off at midnight. In the Philippines, people celebrate by shooting off fireworks, and in Southeast Asia firecrackers were used in the past to scare pests away from strawberries. Today, however, people celebrate more with laser shows and fireworks in the city, instead of firecrackers on the strawberries. The differences between how New Year's Eve is celebrated around the world are great, but all parts of the traditions have their own positive aspects. The laser show in the city is seen by many, the lanterns and firecrackers scare away evil spirits and the fireworks entertain in a happy way. All traditions thus have their own positive aspects that contribute to a pleasant weekend.

There is no real rule for how to celebrate New Year's Eve

How do you usually celebrate New Year's Eve? There is no real rule for how to celebrate New Year's Eve. people usually do different things on New Year's Eve. Some people go out and celebrate with friends, while other people stay home and celebrate with their family. Some people eat special dinners, while others just eat the usual. Whatever you do on New Year's Eve, remember that it's a day to celebrate and have fun.

Have a nice New Year's Eve!

Have a great New Year's Eve, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful evening, filled with lots of fun and laughter. Whether you stay up to watch the fireworks or go to the party, I hope you have fun and have a good time. We wish you a happy and successful new year! I wish you all the best in the coming year. Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

In Sweden is Christmas Eve a big deal. It is the day when families gather to celebrate, exchange gifts and eat lots of food. If you're planning to spend Christmas in Sweden this year, here's what you need to know Christmas Eve.

The Christmas holiday is a time of celebration that has its origins in the pagan celebrations of Midwinter. Midwinter was a time when the darkness of winter was at its greatest, and people celebrated with drink and festivities to honor the gods. One such god was Jólnir, who was associated with Christmas.

When Christianity came to the Nordic countries, the Old Norse festivities were "pre-Christianized"; Christian traditions were introduced into the Christmas celebration and the celebration of the holiday itself was moved to December 24-25 (in the ancient Nordics, the Christmas celebration lasted for a longer period than that, since Christmas was both a month and a holiday celebrated during the darkest time of the year). However, the name "jul" was retained in Swedish and elsewhere. In other languages, the word took on a Christian meaning, for example in the English "Christmas" (Christ's mass) and the German "Weihnacht" (holy night).

24 is celebrated the day before Christmas day, when Christians traditionally celebrate the birth of Jesus. In many countries, e.g. in the USA, Italy and Ireland, however, Christmas is not celebrated with all the Christmas food and all the Christmas presents except by themselves Christmas day. Christmas has become less and less religious in modern times, and many people around the world celebrate Christmas without being either believers or Christians for that matter.

A Christmas present is a gift that is given Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Many believe that Christmas gifts have their origins in the Roman Empire, where during the Saturnalia celebration people gave each other gifts such as baked goods, jewelry and candles (to celebrate the return of light and the sun). The children received small dolls made of clay.

Christianity incorporated these Roman traditions into its own celebration of Midwinter, focusing instead on gift-giving to commemorate the gifts the three wise men gave to the baby Jesus. Why do you get Christmas presents? Christmas Eve? One theory is that in the past it was common for someone to knock on a window or door of a house, throw in a package and then run away. The clapping may be the reason for the name Julklapp.

In modern times, people exchange gifts in many different ways. Giving gifts is seen as a way to connect with family and friends and show them love and appreciation. Christmas presents can come in all shapes and sizes – from small homemade gifts to expensive items bought online or on the high street. No matter what the gift is - it will be sure to put a smile on the recipient's face! Regardless of the gift, Christmas is a time to share love and celebrate. It is a time of joy and goodwill that can be found in every corner of the world.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus

The idea of Santa Claus has been a popular part of the Christmas holiday for many centuries. The story of Santa Claus probably dates back to the fourth century when Saint Nicholas, a bishop in present-day Turkey, became famous for his generous gifts to the poor and needy. Over time, versions of Santa Claus developed in both Christian and secular traditions. In the early 19th century, Clement Moore wrote one of the most famous stories about Santa Claus driving a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. This version is still widely discussed today and includes both religious and non-religious elements in the story. As our culture continues to evolve, so will our perceptions of Santa Claus, but his place as an icon of Christmastime generosity remains firmly entrenched in our collective history and culture.

Santa Claus is a legendary figure known for bringing joy to children around the world every Christmas. The myth of Santa Claus goes back several centuries to Europe, where it was believed that an old man called Santa Claus would deliver gifts to the good children and coal to the naughty children. Today, Santa lives at the North Pole with his reindeer and an army of elves who tend his workshop. Santa Claus works the same way today as he did hundreds of years ago, but with a few changes: Santa Claus can now use technology such as email and telephones, as well as high-tech sleighs pulled by eight flying reindeer! Santa also has enough help from the elves, who make toys that Santa packs in large sacks and delivers on Christmas Day. Santa is a beloved figure because of his mission to spread joy throughout the year - but no matter how technologically advanced our society becomes, children will always believe in Santa and wait Christmas day with tension.

May your Christmas be merry and bright! Enjoy the spirit of the season and be sure to share it with those around you. We wish you all a merry, safe and memorable Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Good Friday and Easter Monday

Good Friday and Easter Monday

Good Friday

What happens on Good Friday is not a celebration, but rather a celebration. Jesus' crucifixion is what is noticed and this day is traditionally gray and mourning. Symbols of grief have historically emerged during Good Friday. Here we have seen black clothes, closed shops, avoided contact, very simple restricted food or even fasting. It was illegal for a while to have fun on Good Friday. Dancing, taverns, cinemas, bingo and football matches were all banned. Even further back in history, we also see that they have whipped each other with rice, to remind themselves of Jesus' suffering. In modern times, suffering has been withdrawn. Nowadays, it is allowed and legal to do what you want on Good Friday, but many insist on limiting themselves. 

In the Church's attention on Good Friday, a service is held in the morning, close to the ninth hour in which Jesus died. No music is played, all signs of joy are gone and hymns are sung. The only decoration is five red roses that adorn the altar, which are symbols of the wounds Jesus received when he was crucified. 


Easter Monday

This is the day when it is celebrated that Jesus appeared to his disciples, after dying on the cross and coming back to life. Easter Monday is the day after Easter. On Easter day, Jesus' tomb was examined and it was discovered that it was empty. The next day, Jesus began to appear to his disciples. Easter Monday is a day in Christianity that helps to establish that there is a hope for a life after death, together with God, because Jesus shows that death can be defeated. The second day of Easter is of course happier than Good Friday and this day is without special regulations for joy. In the folk home, there is usually leftover Easter food, family may gather and eat together on Easter Eve without further meaning for Jesus and his disciples. 

New Year's Day and Thirteenth Day of Christmas

New Year's Day and Thirteenth Day of Christmas

New Year's Day

New Year's Day is the first day of the calendar year. New Year's is celebrated on the night between December 31, i.e. New Year's Eve and January 1 according to the Gregorian calendar. New Year's Day is a very popular holiday. It is celebrated with fireworks, New Year's food and New Year's parties. We have made New Year's resolutions ever since the Viking Age. At this time the vow was made by either emptying a brage cup or swearing by a boar's horn. These days it's a bit more mundane, but many see New Year's Day and the associated New Year's resolutions as a chance to start anew. New Year's food is not quite as elaborate as other festive food, but is more generally associated with luxury. For example, we can see artichoke soup, Skagen toast, chocolate mousse and lobster on the New Year's table that we eat on New Year's Eve. The fireworks that are set off at 12 o'clock and beyond are traditionally to scare away evil spirits. Many traditions are very strongly linked to family or religion. However, New Year's Day and the entire New Year's celebration are more public. You usually share New Year's Day and its celebration with your friends. It is also an old tradition to ring in the new year, usually through some kind of joint public event where you count down to New Year's Day. 



This day falls on January 6th. Thirteenth day of Christmas is a holiday in Sweden. This day is important for Christians in Sweden and is celebrated to commemorate the revelation of Jesus, when the three wise men visited him in Bethlehem after his birth. The star boys traditionally associated with Lucia appeared from the beginning at the celebration of the thirteenth day of Christmas. In Sweden, these star boys wandered in the villages and actors around biblical stories about the three wise men and their journey to Bethlehem. This train could consist of three star boys, a Herod and a Christmas goat who made aggressive outbursts if he was not happy with the reward / offerings. This was seen as a playful and accepted form of begging. It was common for students in Latin schools to participate in the theater and use the income to pay for their living expenses during the Christmas holidays.

All Saints Day

All Saints Day

All Saints Day

This day is always celebrated on Saturday, which falls between October 31 and November 6. The day after the church is dedicated to paying attention to all the saints, a day of remembrance for the dead. It has long been a custom in Christianity to pay attention to saints and martyrs on different days. All Saints' Day is the day on which all the saints who have not been given a day of their own are noticed and remembered. The reason why all saints and martyrs are celebrated is to strengthen the spiritual bond between the living on earth and the dead who have come to heaven. In this way, the image and belief that there is life after death is strengthened. On this Memorial Day, it is common to light candles at graves in the cemetery. All Saints' Day originally originated from the church, but in modern times it is also common for non-believers to light candles in cemeteries to remember loved ones who have passed away. This tradition began in 1900 and was first noticed mainly in the big cities, and then spread to the whole country. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, Halloween and "all saints day" are celebrated. Halloween originally comes from a Celtic festival where people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. Halloween always falls on October 31st, while "all saints day" falls on November 1st. 

The main symbolism used during All Saints' Day is the light. Every candle that is lit is a symbol of life that shines, comes and goes out. During the season when All Saints' Day is celebrated, it is dark, whereupon the symbolic effect of lighting candles becomes extra strong when the candles stand out and are very clearly visible. Sometimes All Saints' Day occurs at the same time as the Anglo-Saxon tradition of Halloween, which is why many people probably have a hard time separating the two. Halloween is something that is also celebrated in Sweden to a large extent, when children dress up and go on "mischief or sweets".

Sweden's National Day

Sweden's National Day

Sweden's National Day

Sweden's national day is a day when we celebrate our country and what we hold dear as Swedes. The day is celebrated in memory of Gustav Vasa and his election as king in 1523, and the form of government of 1809. We officially started celebrating National Day in 1983. Previously, it went by the name "Swedish Flag Day".

Sweden broke away on June 6, 1523 with the help of Gustav Vasa from the Kalmar Union. This had a strong effect in Sweden, which became an independent country and its own, new royal dynasty. On the same day in 1809, the Riksdag signs a form of government that is fundamental to modern Sweden. In this form of government, foundations are created for the state, democracy and the country's development.

National Day is usually marked by hoisting the Swedish flag, decorating spaces with Swedish colors and celebrating with good food. There are parallels between, for example, Easter food, Christmas food and the food eaten on National Day. It will simply be festive food. Eggs, herring, herring, new potatoes, strawberries, fresh herbs and much more can be eaten. The fresh potatoes are special for the national day, as it belongs to the season. It is common for municipalities to have events and parties on National Day. The purpose is for municipalities and those in power to highlight what is good about Sweden in the spotlight and simply promote the cohesion of the population. It is also common for municipalities to hold ceremonies to welcome new Swedish citizens and new residents to the municipality. National Day is not tied to religion and it is one of those holidays where it is very individual how to celebrate. There are not many established rules around the holiday, but it is more about highlighting the country Sweden in general. The closest we come to certain rituals / routines are probably citizenship ceremonies, which have been held. Of course, the national anthem is associated with the national day. This can sometimes be sung at school graduations, if it happens that the national day falls on the same day as the graduation.

May 1

First of May - 1st of May

May 1

This day has been celebrated since 1890 and stems from the demonstrations of the labor movement. In 1890, the Second International required an eight-hour workday. The Second International was an organization formed in Paris, but the demonstrations also spread to Sweden in 1890. The first of May has been a public holiday in Sweden since 1939. This day is one of the two (together with the national day) festivals that are considered non-bourgeois, ie without connection to the Church of Sweden. The first of May has historically not only been to demonstrate for the rights of the worker, but also for other purposes such as demonstrations of sobriety etc. 

Before the Industrial Revolution, May Day was also celebrated as a day, the first day of summer. It was a day when the animals were let out to pasture, the village team chose an elder and they took joint initiatives to review farms, fences and finances. The pre-industrial celebration of the first of May ended with a party, as well as drinking marrow from a bone, to gather strength. 

The most notable symbol of the first of May is the cornflower. This was first sold in Gothenburg in 1907. Flowers themselves have a positive, life-giving symbolism. The money from the sale is historical and still goes to charity, in most cases to vulnerable children. 

One reason we celebrate May Day is the Haymarket Massacre, which took place in Chicago in 1886. At the demonstration, workers protested for just an 8-hour workday but met strong and violent opposition from police. Overall, the first of May is a holiday that is celebrated a little differently depending on where you are in the country. You choose to party, play games or demonstrate. The overarching theme is at least for the people to unite in a public place in the hope of showing the ruling powers that they have a voice that wants to be heard.

Ascension Day

Ascension Day

Ascension Day

The name of the feast is revealing. The ascension of Christ falls on the 40th day after Easter. The weekend is based on the lunar cycles like many other festive weekends and therefore falls on different dates each year. This day the churches are decorated in white. On the Ascension of Christ, it is celebrated that Jesus left the earth and was taken to heaven. In Sweden, we have historically also called the holiday the grazing release, when the animals were now allowed to go out to pasture. This day has also been associated with being the first day of summer. Winter clothes are put away and women go barefoot. Ascension Day has also gone by the name of Metadar Day, when it was now that summer fishing began. In folklore, one can also call the day the "Pilot of Christ". 

Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday. There has been a fire like a valborg during the Ascension of Christ. The purpose of these fires is believed to be to scare away wolves. Since the date of the Ascension of Christ varies from year to year and extends between April 30 - June 3, it can fall on the same day as the first of May or Valborg. From this we probably see that these festivals share certain traditions. 

This day is historically marked with a stamp of freedom in Sweden. Something we have done through the ages is to take the first excursions of the year early in the morning, also called "cuckoo". This is to greet and welcome the warmth of the spring sun. The cuckoo is made at the time in the spring when the cuckoo starts to gala. In modern times, people usually go on picnics and bird watching under cuckoos. In church contexts, services are usually held. Finally, the Ascension of Christ was also a day off in the sense that young people could now socialize without being guarded as strictly by their parents. 

Outside the church and in modern society, few celebrate Ascension Day for special reasons. It is common for the day to lead to a long weekend when the Ascension of Christ always falls on a Thursday and Friday then becomes a squeezing day. Therefore, most people probably think that the day is somehow worth celebrating.