Features 1 minute 01 June 2018

Danish Constitution Day – 5th June

Celebrating democracy with the family and political rallies

Denmark Tradition

The closest thing the Danes have to a National Day is Constitution Day, known locally as Grundlovsdag. It’s celebrated on the 5th June and marks a double anniversary: the signing of both the first and the current Danish constitutions.

The first was signed in 1849 by Frederik the VII and established Denmark as a constitutional monarchy; this was followed by revisions in 1866, 1915 and 1920, with the latest version signed in 1953.

The revision of 1915 – also signed on the 5th June – adds further significance to this date, as it was on this day that women were first given the vote.

Although it is not an official public holiday, the majority of workers are granted half – or sometimes even a whole – day off of work, so you’ll find that many shops and businesses shut after midday.

Public celebrations mainly centre around the raising of the Danish flag – which you will see flying proudly all across the country – accompanied by group singing or fællessang.

Danes are very into their politics and this day is now largely set aside for political rallies and speeches. By June the weather has started to warm up, so these take place outdoors and are known as friluftsmøde (open-air meetings). They are usually very social events and many people pack picnics to eat in the park, grab a pølser (hotdog) and a beer on the hoof or stop off for a coffee and a cake or bun.

Unlike other Nordic countries, there are no festivals or street parades; this is seen more as a day for spending time with the family – after all, since 1935, it has also been designated Father’s Day.


Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading