Saturday, June 04, 2005

Clairification: The Holiday Weekend

My parents are back from the US. I really missed them, being here all along can get really boring! lol. They are good entertainment, even though both of them are uber jetlagged.

Thank's to Sven, comment in the last post, we have a better idea of the New Holiday:
Sorry to say, out new National Day is a losss in free time in early summer in the long run. It's on the 6th June, and that will sometimes be a Saturday or Sunday, and to get this day off from work, we had to sacrifice 3rd Day Pentacost, which always was on a Monday.

National Day is new and nobody knows what we are celebrating for sure. It was, up to last year, calld Day of the Swedish Flag (which obviously was worth celebrating in the past for some reason...).

Not to be offensive, but Sven has hit the proverbial nail on the head -- the swedes focus on actual time off, not the holiday itself. I 'predict' that the Friday before or the Monday after a weekend National Day will be en brondag (litteraly a bridge day). Usually swedes have a 'flex' day on brondags when no one really shows up to work anyways so everyone takes it off. This usually occurs when you have a red day (actual holi-DAY) and a day between that day and the weekend. Hence, you have a day of who is really going to show up to work ... no, honestly, who? Being sensible, the swedes have brondagen for such purposes to allow vactioning flexbility. I'm sure Sven will have more to say about it :)

Norway (apologies to the swedish readers for the comparison to norway, and vice versa for the noriegans) has a similar day I think, but it's more like an independence day (I THINK, I could be totally off). In any event, it was about a month maybe a month and a half ago and all these really cute kids and their parents were out in the city in traditional Noriegian garb etc. Girls with flowers in their hair, lots of blue and red, very festive, and, as a recall, it was an absolutely gorgeous day.

I'm not sure what to expect here. It is not longer, as Sven pointed out, Swedish Flag Day, so perhaps there will be donning of traditional garments and parading through the city? The Royal Palace is here, perhaps something will occur there or on Gamla Stan. I will point out that most places of business have very limited opening hours. Even the gym is closed for a good part of the day for a Monday. I was surprised. They cancelled a spinning class so it MUST be important!

If nothing else the promise of a holiday weekend definitely pushed people out into the city today, regardless of the incredibly shitty weather. Saturdays are usually pretty quiet unless you are on Kungsgatan or Drottinggatan, the two busier streets down town. Drottninggatan is completely pedestrian, so just the novelty draws people I think. Plus it goes from Centralen to Gamla Stan past the Riksdag(parliament). It's absolutely miserable out though, and the streets are packed. And by packed, I mean you actually have to wait in crowds to cross the street, and you can't really walk side-by-side and talk. Surprising, since you'd think everyone'd stay home to rest up for all the drinking that will go on tonight ...

LOL, and as a side note on the graduation stuff, someone in the office in the bottom of my building must have a gradute either working for them or as a child. I went down this morning and we have blue balloons with yellow ribbons tied around branches of fresh cut trees limbs (birch I think)around the staircase heading to the offices. It's really kind of cool, and I'm not sure any other cultures really put graduation on such a public display. It's tons of fun, and again, put a smile on my face. You all must think I'm perpetually petulant or something ... I'm not really, it's just that some things are worth describing as 'put-a-smile-on-your-face' since there are seemingly so few in peoples' lives :)

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


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