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Constitution Day is not really a national day nor a bank holiday

On 5 June, Danes celebrate a rather confusing “almost” bank holiday – with closed retail shops but with private businesses still at work.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

The annual constitution day, Grundlovsdag, is a bit special.

It is not considered to be the Danish national day, which would have meant that it would be an official bank holiday, therefore many businesses stay open when it the day is a weekday. This year it is a Saturday so it won’t make a difference!

However, it is celebrated as the official constitution day of Denmark.

From 1891 until 1975 it was a half day off from work, with businesses and shops etc. closing at 12:00.

However, since 1975, whether or not you have to go to work, all depends on the status of the day in your employment contract or the deal made between your trade association and the employer organisations.

So, if for  instance the day was a weekday there would be no banks open as the finance employees, organised under Finansforbundet, have the 5 June off.

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By law ( the so-called Lukkelov) it has been decreed that the retail sector must stay closed, so you will again find shops and grocery stores closed on Saturday.

Only those in your area,which open on other bank holidays such as Christmas, will stay open.

You will of course see Dannebrog flying as it is an official flag flying day and for fathers, it is also Father’s Day!

Confused? You are not the only one.

If you want to experience a Grundlovsdags speech, you can find a list of all the speeches listed at the website of the different parties, for instance those of Venstre can be found here.

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