Constitution Day (Denmark)

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Grundlovsdag
Grundlovsdagen fejres i Frederiksberg Have.jpg
Constitution Day celebrations in Frederiksberg Gardens. Drawn by Erik Henningsen, 1882.
Also calledConstitution Day
Observed byDanes
TypeNational
SignificanceAnniversary of the Danish constitution
CelebrationsSpeeches by politicians
Date5 June
Next time5 June 2021 (2021-06)
Frequencyannual

Constitution Day (Danish: Grundlovsdag) is observed in Denmark on 5 June.[1][2] The day honors the Danish Constitution, as both the first constitution of 1849 and the current constitution of 1953 were signed on this date of their respective years.[3] Denmark is one of only a handful countries in the world to not have an official national day, but Constitution Day is sometimes considered the equivalent of such a day. It is also widely considered to be a day for celebrating Danish democracy.

Though it has never been an official national holiday, Constitution Day was a half-day off work from 1891 until 1975. Since then, collective labor agreements have usually given workers a half-day or the whole day off on Constitution Day.[4] Stores with an annual turnover of not more than DKK 34.9 million kroner can stay open on constitutional day. All other stores must keep closed.[5] and political rallies and meetings are traditionally held.[3]

The day is widely celebrated throughout Denmark with church congregations, associations and political organizations meeting for what are essentially "secular services". These services include the raising of the Dannebrog (the Danish flag), a short speech by a local politician or celebrity, and collective singing (Danish: fællessang). Celebrations usually end with coffee and the eating of traditional buns.[citation needed]

The date[edit]

Following the Danish Constituent Assembly of 1848 and 1849, the first constitution (which established Denmark as a constitutional monarchy) was signed by King Frederick VII on 5 June 1849. The constitution was completely rewritten in 1866, 1915 (when women's suffrage was introduced), and most recently in 1953, the latter two rewritings also on 5 June.[citation needed]

5 June is also Father's Day in Denmark.[3][6] It was introduced in 1935, and until 1956 it fell on the second Sunday of November. Father's Day was later moved to its current date since Constitution Day was a half-day off work.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Days – um.dk, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  2. ^ Constitution Day in Denmark (a letter from US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on behalf of US President Barack Obama, to the Danish people) – US Department of State – state.gov. Retrieved 6 February 2012
  3. ^ a b c Constitution Day Archived 7 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine – Denmark.dk, the official website of Denmark. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Er Grundlovsdag en fridag?" (in Danish).
  5. ^ "Lukkeloven" (in Danish).
  6. ^ "Fars Dag" (in Danish). Dansk Historisk Fællesråd. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  7. ^ historie-online.dk: Fars Dag, historien bag og kvinden, som opfandt dagen (in Danish)