Official Swedish bank Holidays | Undutchables

Official Swedish bank Holidays

Categorie: Cultural

As in every country, Sweden has public holidays, spread over the whole year. Swedes are proud of their Public Holidays. We even think they have the most in Europe!

Next to the Public Holidays that are being celebrated in every country, Sweden has a couple that they celebrate in their own, specific way. On Easter Thursday the children walk around in their neighborhoods dressed as witches and on the 24th of December, at 15.00 they are all gathered in front of the TV, watching a special edition of Donald Duck!

Are you curious about how the other public holidays are being celebrated? Read this article!


Nyårsdagen

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with friends and family. And yes, just like in other countries it is celebrated with a lot of champagne and fireworks.

Between Christmas and New Year and the days after New Year, most Swedes enjoy some time off and go on holidays. On the 13th of January, 20 days after Christmas, it is time to throw out the Christmas tree. After that, everything is back to normal again.

Important days: 31st of December and the 1st of January 2020


Trettondagen

13 Days after Christmas, Sweden celebrates a Christian Day, the Trettodagen. Trettondagen (Epiphany), celebrates the visitation of the Biblical Magi (the Wise Men) to baby Jesus. A long time ago in Sweden, Trettondagsafton meant wild partying, but not anymore. It is an official Day off.

6th of January 2020


Påskdagen

Sweden also celebrates Easter. However, only seven out of ten people actually celebrate Easter as a religious event. During Easter you get together with family and friends, eat eggs, herring, salmon and lamb. The one tradition that Sweden is proud of is the Easter Thursday where children walk around in their neighborhood dressed as witches. Then they give the people self-made Easter Cards and in return they get sweets.

The tradition is said to come from the old belief that witches would fly to a mountain outside Sweden the Thursday before Easter to cavort with Satan. On their way back, Swedes would light fires to scare them away, a practice honored today by the bonfires and fireworks across the land in the days leading up to Sunday. The bonfire is called Majbrasan on Walpurgis Night.

30th of April 2020

(this is also the birthday of the current Swedish King!)

Första Maj

Since 1907 school children sell ‘Majblomma’, which is sold for children’s charity.

It is to improve children's conditions and combat child poverty in Sweden. The vision is for every child in Sweden to be included in the community with their friends, in school and during their free time.

1st of May is also the ‘day of the worker’ where demonstrations are held for the worker’s right. Nowadays, people see it as a nice day off, as this is usually the 1st day of the spring people hope to enjoy the first rays of sun after a long winter!

Date: 1st of May


Kristi Himmelsfärdsdag

Ascension Day is on a Thursday, the fortieth day after Easter. It is a Christian holiday that commemorates Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven, according to Christian belief.

It is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Date, 21st of May 2020


Nationaldagen

The 6th of June is a national public holiday in Sweden. It is called National Dagen, the Day of the Nation. The day used to be called the ‘Day of the Swedish Flag’.

On this day, Sweden celebrates the identity of Sweden. Each year, there is a celebration ceremony with the Royal Family, the King and Queen of Sweden at Skansen, a national part in the city center of Stockholm. You will see a lot of Swedish flags all over!

One fun thing to know about the flag is: The first legal description of the flag was made in a royal warrant of 19 April 1562 as "yellow in a cross fashioned on blue".

Date, 6th of June 2020


Midsommarafton

Perhaps the most known public holiday in Sweden: Midsummer! Traditionally this day is the summer solstice, when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight.

This day is celebrated with friends and family and will always take place on the Friday closest to the 21st of June. You will see Midsomer poles all over, made of flowers and birch branches and people will sing and dance around the pole. People will also make flora wreaths and wear them on their heads. The traditional food on this day is haring, salmon, fresh boiled potatoes and strawberries! In the province of Dalarna, most people will dress in traditional dresses. It is a very special day to experience!

19th of June 2020

Allhelgonadagen

All Saints Day: on this day Swedes remember people that have left us. You will see that the graveyards are full of lightened candles.

2nd of November 2020


Julafton

For Swedes, the 24th of December is the most important day of the Christmas period! Mostly this is celebrated with families in different settings. Swedes start looking forward to the Christmas period 4 weeks before Christmas as they stand still with the Advent period. Each Sunday, they light one candle (one per each Advent) and they drink Glögg, the traditional warm wine with a taste of Christmas.

They send cards with the message ‘God Jul & Gott Nytt År’., Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

During Christmas Swedes eat parts of The Swedish Smörgåsbord and restaurants, with the start of the Advent period, will serve ‘Julbord’ which means Christmas buffet. Traditionally there should be 101 diches on the table. You will find the traditional marinated herring, meat balls, salmon and various greens. Also, there is a buffet of traditional sweets, such as self-made ginger bread, chocolate and marzipan.

And not to forget: on the 24th at 15.00, don’t forget to watch the Swedish Christmas edition of Donald Duck on TV!

Date: 24th of December 2020

Now that you know the public holidays celebrated in Sweden – join in the celebration!

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