瑞典國慶 National Day of Sweden

今日 (六月六日) 是瑞典國慶。故事是這樣的。

話說中世紀末期 (十四世紀),為了抗衡南方、東方漢莎聯盟 (Hanseatic League) 的勢力,丹麥、瑞典、挪威三國貴族遂於1397年組成卡馬聯盟 (Kalmar Union),並共立同一君主。但這個聯盟由丹麥主導,引起瑞典貴族不滿,並選出攝政管治。哥本哈根的國王和斯德哥爾摩的攝政之間矛盾日深,國王克里斯坦二世 (Christian II) 終於決定出兵平定瑞典,並於1520年摧毀攝政勢力,攻陷斯德哥爾摩,並以宗教為名,處決支持攝政的貴族 (血洗斯德哥爾摩 Stockholm Bloodbath)。

殊不知,被處決的貴族中有一人,其兒子在達拉那 (Dalarna) 聚集勢力起義以報殺父之仇。此兒子名為古斯塔夫 ‧ 華沙 (Gustav Vasa)。起義大軍浩浩蕩蕩,終於在1523年攻陷斯德哥爾摩,古斯塔夫於同年六月六日獲選為國王,瑞典重新獨立。

此後幾百年,瑞典軍事勢力日強,並從丹麥奪得斯干尼亞 (Scania/Skåne) 等領土,更差點滅掉丹麥,成為波羅的海霸主,直到俄羅斯崛起,才結束瑞典的強國地位。

現在的瑞典社會對國慶等國家象徵的意義和地位,有深切的反思和討論,並不會一面倒慶祝,與鄰國挪威慶祝國慶 (五月十七日) 的盛況形成強烈對比。至於丹麥、瑞典和挪威的深仇大恨,自十九世紀中期以後已經隨著北歐主義 (Scandinavism, Nordism) 的興起,而埋於歷史的垃圾堆中。

Today (6 June) is the National Day of Sweden. The story is as follows.

In the late Middle Ages (14th century), the aristocrats of Denmark, Sweden and Norway wanted to counter the strength of the Hanseatic League in the south and east, and so formed the Kalmar Union in 1397 with one united king for all three realms. However, the Union was dominated by Denmark, which did not go well with the Swedish aristocrats, who selected a regent to rule over Sweden. The king in Copenhagen and the regent in Stockholm were often embroiled in power struggles. Eventually, King Christian II decided to pacify Sweden by military means. In 1520 the regent’s forces were destroyed and the king marched into Stockholm. Using religion as an excuse, the king executed many aristocrats who supported the regent (Stockholm Bloodbath).

However, one of the victims’ son, Gustav Vasa, decided to raise forces to avenge his father’s death. Gustav’s army took Stockholm in 1523 and he was elected king on 6 June the same year. Sweden became independent again.

In the centuries that followed, Sweden became militarily strong and took Scania (Skåne) etc. from Denmark, even almost obliterating the latter. Sweden became the overlord of the Baltic Sea, and lost its strong power status only when Russia rose and challenged.

The meaning and role of national day and other national symbols are matters of strong reflection and discussion in today’s Swedish society. There is no one-sided omnipresent jubilant celebration, in contrast with Norway’s national day (17 May). The enmity among Denmark, Sweden and Norway has long been buried in the dung heap of history from the mid-19th century onward, as Scandinavism and Nordism became popular.