The king’s name day!

Kungens namnsdag!

The king of Sweden has his name day today! Today’s name is Karl, and therefore we celebrate everyone called by that name, and one of them is the king of Sweden.

This blog is maybe not so much about our king, but about the name day celebration in Sweden.

What’s wrong about celebrating? And celebrating one’s birthday once a year isn’t really enough for us Swedes, so celebrating our name days is a really good complement. (Which also is another great reason why many Swedes not only have one middle name, but often at least two.)

How do we celebrate name days?

Well… some totally forget about their name day. Some gets a small card or a phone call from someone saying “Grattis på namnsdagen“. In some families they make this a bigger occasion, by inviting friends or family over for a name day fika, or actually kalas (which is the same as fika, but the word we use when celebrating birthdays – or name days). For people concerned about their age, celebrating the name day could be an awesome alternative to the birthday.

Back to the king of Sweden and his name day. Do we acknowledge that in any way? Yes, of course! It is an official flag day, meaning that everyone owning a flagpole (which is quite a few) must hoist the Swedish flag that day. In a Swedish calendar (svensk almanacka) you can see which days are official flag days, which is a good thing for flagpole owners. And of course, in the same almanacka, you can see what date you have your name day. (The chance of finding your name in the almanacka strongly increases if you have a Swedish name though.)

Is your name not in the almanacka? Do like many others: make one day Your name day! And celebrate!


Grattis på namnsdagen, Karl!

By the way: The name of the Swedish king is Carl XVI Gustav Bernadotte.

And if you want to know more about the reasons and rules around our Swedish name days, svenska namnsdagar, then follow this link.