Kristi Himmelsfärds Dag, klämdag, and Memorial Day

You may not know that today is Kristi Himmelsfärds Dag and tomorrow is a klämdag. To translate, today is Ascension Day in Sweden, and tomorrow is a "squeeze day." If we were in Sweden, most things would be closed for the four day weekend (and since things are still relatively open despite covid, they would be closed today and tomorrow).

Ascension Day marks 40 days after Easter- the 6th Thursday to be precise. A religious holiday marked by extinguishing a candle that has been lit since Easter, it also marks a day for picnics at dawn and the start of the Swedish fishing season.

A klämdag- a squeeze day-- is an unusual term but I can appreciate what it is:
squeeze day is a single work day that falls between one holiday and another work-free day.
On squeeze days, many people take time off from work through compensatory leave ("complete") or vacation .
A regular recurring squeeze day in Sweden is the day after Christ's ascension , which always falls on a Friday .
Vacations on squeeze days are covered in a few collective agreements, but usually it is local regulations and agreements that regulate these. 

As we are not in Sweden, I have no idea how people are celebrating what for them is a 4 day weekend. However, people are gearing up for Memorial Day Weekend in the US. Although the local Boalsburg Memorial Day festivities (reputedly home to the original Memorial Day celebration) are canceled, local cemeteries are bedecked with flags and flowers.

On our end, it's been an interesting switch in calendars and cultures- from keeping track of when the week starts (the Swedish week starts on Monday on the calendar), to what holidays matter (we managed to take them all off the calendar, so we were missing everything discussed above). Absent some thought about this, I'm sure I would have been asking the kids to get on zoom on Monday for school (here in the US).

The adjustment goes slowly and the transition has been rough-- we don't yet have our feet quite under us. However, we've gotten the house cleaner, had some meals outside, retrieved our bikes and boats so have been playing in the outdoors, and have been managing work and school.


We did celebrate Mother's Day last weekend- a week late and a much better day than the week before. A fancy breakfast made by Chris and the kids, followed by a gentle hike along Spring Creek.


Spring Creek Canyon- a really beautiful hike

Going into this weekend, I'm not sure we're feeling overly in the holiday realm for either Sweden and the US, but we'll take access to the creek, the growing greenery, and the big sky of spring.


Sunset in the Ridge & Valley (a view from  uphill from where we're staying- the backside of the barn)