“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate…”
These lines William Shakespeare wrote in his Sonnet 18, and they would make a fitting entry in a love letter to Sweden. June and the beginning of summer is a good time to remind ourselves why we love Sweden, are proud of the heritage or adhere to traditions from the old country through several generations. We'd like to know what makes you proud or happy and why you love Sweden... Daily Dagens Nyheter asked Swedes what they like about Sweden, and here are 12 of the many reasons:
1. “As an old UN-soldier in Gaza and Congo, I appreciate the freedom in Sweden,” says Gustav Larsson.
2. “The welfare and the fact that it’s so clean everywhere,” says Peter Blom.
3. “Few here end up in the streets and we have great opportunities to develop ourselves,” says Malin Håkansson.
4. “The free schools. In South Africa you have to travel far to get to the good schools,” says Tuletu Mfeketo.
5. “There’s place for everyone and it’s not racist,” says Backa Sicka.
6. “It’s my home and it makes me happy to see pine trees,” says Josefine Fahlvik.
7. “The beautiful summer, and Skåne,” says Aline Lessner.
8. “The fact that I can stay at home with the baby I am now expecting,” says Camilla.
9. “Freedom of speech and free media,” says Kim.
10. “I’m never afraid in Sweden. I always sleep well here,” says Zuzan Izzat Ibrahim.
11. “There are rules for everything, which is good. And it is peaceful,” says Charles Gozi.
12. “The archipelago and the unique allemansrätten,” says Leo Heijbel.

Celebrating June 6—Sveriges nationaldag, Sweden’s National Day. June 6 was justified as National Day by Riksdagen, the Swedish parliament, in 1983 after having for years been known as svenska flaggans dag (Swedish flag day). The flag day was initiated on June 6, 1916 at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium and it was in honor of the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, which marked the foundation of modern Sweden. The tradition of calling for four cheers for Sweden and for the Swedish King is actually wrong, as the Swedish pass originally meant two cannon-shots marking the Swedish side. The fact that in Skåne they call for three cheers is seen as a somewhat “obstinate” leftover from their time under Danish rule, when the Danish pass was three canon-shots. As the celebrating of the National Day is new in Sweden (it’s only been an official public holiday since 2005 - Sweden's National Day), few specific traditions exist, although in some places of Sweden the tradition of eating Smörgåstårta (Sandwich Cake - Smörgåstårta, sample recipe) has been established.