Swedish Ways: Nyårsdagen

How a Swede spent last night sort of dictates how Nyårsdagen (New Year’s Day) is spent. If you were full up on drink and didn’t get to bed until the early hours of the morning, you probably spend most of the day in bed, then take it very easy due to the inevitable hangover you’re likely to have.

Not so much if you took it easy.

There is of course time to start working on those new year’s resolutions … Did you make any? I normally don’t, because I don’t see the point. Losing weight? Yeah, well, I need to do that regardless of if it’s a new year or not. Quit smoking? Never smoked. Exercise more? See the bit about losing weight …

In Britain, if a red letter day falls on a weekend, the holiday is pushed to the next available Monday, so you get it back, meaning tomorrow is a Bank Holiday here. In Sweden, if a red letter day falls on a weekend, tough luck, you don’t get it back, meaning today is a Sunday, tomorrow is a normal Monday. I much prefer the British way. 😉

There aren’t that many traditions on New Year’s Day, because it’s kind of the Day After in many ways. Gone is the glamour of the night before, and you’re left with washing up and if you had a party, cleaning up.

That’s when you sink down into your sofa and watch the traditional airing of the 1982 Ivanhoe adaptation – the one with Sam Neill as Sir Brian de Bois Guilbert, as it happens! 🙂

Not so much in my family, however. As my mum has had a shop for longer than I care to remember, a new year means a new stock count. Think you can sleep in just because you stayed up late last night? You might get a little lie in, and then it’s straight down to the shop to count things. This isn’t a particularly fun thing to do at the best of times, but on New Year’s Day in particular, when you’d rather just relax, crack nuts, peel clementines and drool over handsome knights, it kinda sucks. Especially if you also have a good dose of dyscalculia, which means numbers aren’t exactly your strongest point.

But there you go, such are the New Year’s Day traditions on my side of the family. Here in Britain, though, the Squeeze and I do nothing in particular. Which is nice. It’s a new year, there’s no rush.

How about you? How do you like to spend New Year’s Day where you are?

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