Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sweden Loses a Red Day

In a news story from the other day, Dagens Nyheter reported that Sweden would gain 15 billion SEK from the overlap of red days. I had no idea what red days were until yesterday. The only thing I could come up with was some sort of commie labor holiday.

I was almost right. For reasons that will become clear.

Turns out, according to the old man, that the Swedish calendar shows all national holidays that could result in an off day from work in red. I checked the Swedish calendar I have. He was right.

On May first Sweden celebrates the first of May. Which is International Workers’ Day. Yay. Sweden also celebrates Kristi Himmelsfärdsdag. Literally, very very literally, Christ’s Heaven journey day. Otherwise known as the Ascension. Apparently the sixth Thursday after Easter. Big stuff. Especially in the religious stronghold that is Sweden. Usually these days don’t end up sharing the same date. This year they did. I blame the early Easter.

Anyway, because of the extra day of work Sweden’s economy will benefit. No lost worker hours celebrating Christ heading up to Heaven here. Just down and dirty labor. It’s the Swedish way.

But instead of lambasting the ridiculousness of the numerous days off and religious holidays that result in my not having to work I will tacka och ta emot. Because who are we kidding. Everyone loves a day off. Especially from my job.

On a side note, the article also gave a quick list of the hours worked by most countries in any given year. The list showed the US weighing in at 1,824 hours per year. Sweden lagged a bit behind. 1,585 hours per year. A lot of this probably has to do with all of the public holidays. Like obscure religious holidays in a country that prides itself on being very secular. And also the numerous mamma- and pappaledighet the country offers to new parents. Or the Swedish workforce is just lazy. Or smarter than all the other hard working countries. Your call.

I’ll think about it. On my day off.

Welcome to Sweden.

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  1. I hate to lose a red day... But, hey, it's Valborg today so I don't care besides I'm free tomorrow too. Hehe, you got to love Swedish holidays and the amount of them. ;)