WOTD: Ascension

Today is Ascension Day or Kristihimmelfärdsdag (Christ-Heaven-Lift-Day) as it’s called here in Sweden. According to the New Testament this was the day when Jesus made his bodily ascent to heaven, which took place 40 days after the resurrection. So it’s a religious holiday and a “red day,” which in Sweden refers to a day on which one doesn’t have to work but for which one still gets paid. Sweet.

Such days are highlighted in Swedish calendars with red ink, and thus they have come to be known as “red” days.

Sweden is a funny place in many respects, and by funny I mean slightly odd. In most countries, religious holidays are times for family get-togethers, visits to churches and cemeteries, and moments of quiet reflection. Here in Sweden the major holidays of the year: Christmas, Easter, and Midsummer, are always celebrated on their “eves.” I used to wonder why but I have it figured out now.

The day before any religious holiday or red day is considered an acceptable time to get totally and embarrassingly shitfaced, so the actual day can be used as a hangover recovery day. Practical. Logical. Typically Swedish.

Bye for now…

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