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Constitution Day

Constitution Day 2017 and 2018

Grundlovsdag – Constitution Day – in Denmark is celebrated on 5 June each year.

YearDateDayHoliday
20175 JunMonConstitution Day
20185 JunTueConstitution Day

It recognises the signing of the first Danish Constitution on 5 June 1849 and celebrates the most recent, on 5 June 1953. The Kingdom of Denmark includes Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

The throne of Denmark was established in the tenth century and is the oldest in Europe and third oldest in the world. Through to the seventeenth century, the majority of decisions in Danish rule came through the monarchy and each monarch was obliged to sign the Haandfæstning wherein he promised to rule fairly.

In 1660, Denmark became a constitutional monarchy, effectively removed the monarchy from absolute power and putting decision making into the hands of the leaders of government. From this time, aside from the royal power of the king, three types of powers existed in Denmark: legislative, executive and judicial.

Including the signing of the first constitution, five constitutions have been written and signed: 1849, 1866, 1915, 1920 and 1953. None of these had amendments but each was superseded by the one following. On 5 June 1915, women received the right to vote.

Constitution Day in Denmark is commemorated by a half- or full-day holiday. Many places hold festivals and there are often political rallies. Students, graduates, bands and organisations march in parades behind the bright red and white of the Danish flag. The flag also dominates many buildings across the country.

Since 1935, the date of 5 June, perhaps symbolically, has also been the date the Danish celebrate Fathers’ Day.