Today, Norway celebrate their release from the union with Sweden. They celebrate it passionately, so happy are they to be rid of us. Ahh well. Hope you guys all have a great Syttene Mai, neighbourinos!
This year, Norway’s national day co-incides with Kristi himmelfärdsdag, which is Ascension Day in English. This is the day when, according to the New Testament, flight Jesus Christ took off from planet Earth, or the Son of God ascended into heaven after having died on a cross and resurrected three days later around Easter, if you will.
Kristi himmelfärdsdag (Christ heaven-journey day) a red letter day, a public holiday, so to the average Swede, it’s less about Jesus and more about having a day off work. Swedes are a secular bunch in general, so if the clue wasn’t in the name, most people would probably have no idea why the day is a public holiday. Kind of a paradox, really, how many religion-based public holidays there are in Sweden, when you consider how secular it is.
As far as I know, the day always falls on a Thursday as well, which means most people also take Friday off to get a long weekend, because Friday is a “klämdag” (a day that’s wedged in between a public holiday and a weekend). Which would be very nice to have here in the UK too, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the double-whammy of Bank Holidays in early June instead.