Thursday, June 2, 2011

Swedish holidays: Happy Himmelfard

Today is one of the smattering of spring Swedish days off, celebrating Christ's ascension, or Himmelfard, or kristiflygare as it is also known.

Unlike the US, where most public holidays are secular (Happy Memorial Day all), in Sweden most holidays are based on Christian holidays.

Today, I spent the day with some teenage members of my husband's family, but none of them could come up with what Kristiiflygare day was for or why it was celebrated. This isn't a judgement, I just often marvel that in a country as secular as Sweden, we still get ascension day off as a major holiday.
I'mm not really sure there is much one can do to celebrate Kristiflygare or himmelfart as I often call it by mistake. I don't know if more people go to church that day. Unlike the US the day off doesn't seem to be an excuse for huge sales and shopping mall madness, or it might just be that I don't go to Swedish shopping malls much.

So happy himmelfart, and if you have a 5 day weekend (Sweden's national day is Monday) I hope you are enjoying it!

Also, sorry if this post is a little choppy, trying to get the computer fixed and writing on the phone isn't ideal.

1 comment:

  1. It's unfortunately not an excuse for big retail sales since everything is closed on Kristi Himmelfärdsdagen. For me and many with me it's just another day off work that doesn't really mean more than that. I'm not complaining though, especially not this year when it falls together with the national day and it becomes a 5 day weekend. :)