The tradition of celebrating this date began 1916 at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, in honour of the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, as this was considered the foundation of modern Sweden.
Some question the validity of this as a national holiday, as it was not observed as a holiday until decades later. However this event does signify the end of the Danish-ruled Kalmar Union, so in a sense it is a marking of Swedish independence, though the event occurred so long ago that it does not have as strong of a presence in the social consciousness as does, for example, Norway's Syttende Mai (17 May).
In 2005 it became an official Swedish public holiday, replacing Whit Monday. This change led to fewer days off from work (more working-days) as 6 June will periodically fall on the weekend, unlike Whit Monday, which was always celebrated on a Monday. This has in turn led to complaints from some Swedish unions.
We were still in Ystad, although it was not blowing all that hard, the direction and strength, combined with the much better forecast for today, made us decide that rounding Sandhammaren, the South Eastern corner of Skåne which is nicknamed 'the Cape Horn of the North' would be much more comfortable today.
Ystad celebrated in style, with the national anthem, speeches and a marching band to start:
This young man though stole the show:
After the official formalities, there were a lot of stalls set up in the main street by community organisations, like the scouts, the Red Cross and also sports clubs. It was an opportunity for them to present themselves, some gave demonstrations and a few sold items We bought small pancakes (for 1SEK, 0.10 €!) from a scout who approached us in Swedish and switched to perfect English when we made clear we could not understand him.
It appears to be tradition for the children to receive colourful 'lolly's' as there were many stalls selling these.
This morning we (or rather Lyn) woke up at 5 when another boat left. Half an hour later we decided to get up and leave as there was virtually no wind. So before 6 we were out of the harbour, and an hour later we passed Kåseberga. As mentioned in an earlier post, this would have been a really interesting place to stop, were it not for the exposure to the current easterly to southerly winds. The attraction, apart from its picturequeness, is an ancient monument called Ale Stenar. Again from Wikipedia:
Ale's Stones at Kåseberga, around ten kilometres southeast of Ystad.
Ale's Stones (or Ales stenar in Swedish) is a megalithic monument in Skåne in southern Sweden. It is a stone ship, oval in outline, with the stones at each end markedly larger than the rest. It is 67-metres long formed by 59 large boulders, weighing up to 1.8 tonnes each.
The carbon-14 dating system for organic remains has provided seven results at the site. One indicates that the material is around 5,500 years old whereas the remaining six indicate a date about 1,400 years ago. The latter is considered to be the most likely time for Ales Stenar to have been created. That would place its creation towards the end of the Nordic Iron Age.
You can see the stones from the water:
Going there (when the wind is in the right corner) is definitely on our 'Onbekommerd bucket list '!
At 8:20 we rounded Sandhammaren:
And by 10:30 we had covered the 29 nmiles for the day and were tied up in Simrishamn.
Tomorrow the plan is to continue to the small island of Hanö.