Spring Holidays and Celebrations In Sweden


There are many Swedish holidays coming up in May and the beginning of June. This article is a quick description of three of the biggest celebrations during this time and why they are celebrated. 

Valborg, also known as Walpurgis Night, is a traditional Swedish holiday that is celebrated on the 30th of April every year. The holiday marks the arrival of Spring and is the time to say farewell to the cold, dark and long Swedish winters. On the 30th of April people gather around public bonfires. These bonfires usually have music, dancing, games, and sometimes fireworks. These fires are held in most communities within the Stockholm region and are accessible to everyone! 

The history of Valborg can be traced back to ancient pagan rituals that were practiced by the Germanic tribes of Europe. These rituals were performed in honor of the goddess Walpurga, who was believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and protect crops from disease.

Kristi Himmelfärd, also known as Ascension Day, is soon coming up and is an important Christian holiday celebrated in Sweden and many other countries around the world. We celebrate Kristi Himmelfärd on the 40th day after Easter, which falls on a Thursday each year. This day marks the day when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven after his resurrection.

In Sweden, Kristi Himmelfärd is a public holiday and many people take the day off from work or school to celebrate with their families and friends. SIS will have two days of school which gives the students a long weekend from the 18th to the 22nd of May. Some celebrate by visiting a church and participating in a service to commemorate the ascension of Jesus, while some just enjoy the long weekend outside in the spring weather. 

Sweden’s National Day is celebrated annually on June 6th, commemorating the day in 1523 when Gustav Vasa was elected as Sweden’s King, thus ending the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Norway. It was declared as a national holiday in 1983, and has been celebrated with much enthusiasm and pride all over Sweden ever since.

On this day Swedes celebrate their nationality and heritage. Stockholm sometimes holds parades, outdoor concerts, and festivities throughout the day which are open to the public. The traditional Swedish flag is flown high, and the Swedish national anthem “Du gamla, du fria” (You Old, You Free) is sung by the Swedes all over the country. What my family usually does to celebrate this day is to bake a traditional strawberry cake, (jordgubbstårta), and have dinner with our friends and family!