Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf celebrated National Day in Visby. Photo: Karl Melander/ Scanpix

Sweden celebrates National Day

Swedes are celebrating National Day and Flag Day today. Activities have been taking place all over the country. Many communities have special ceremonies for new Swedish citizens. In Malmö, for example, Prince Daniel greeted 280 new citizens in the Opera house there. "To be Swedish," he said, "doesn't mean a specific skin or hair color, dialect, or accent."

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine opened the doors to the Royal Palace in Stockholm at 10 a.m. this morning. This evening, the Royal Family will travel by horse and carriage from the Palace to Skansen, Stockholm's outdoor museum.

National Day is celebrated on 6 June since that is the day that Gustav Vasa was proclaimed the King of Sweden in 1523. The 6th of June has been Sweden's official national day since 1983, before that it was Flag Day. It has been a public holiday, known here as a "red day", since 2005.

For several years during the 2000's, right-wing extremists carrying flags marched through the streets and protested against immigrants on National Day.

But these days, most Swedes spend time with their families and have picnics.

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