My Dutch colleague Tim was a visiting researcher in Gävle when I first came to visit in May 2009. He said that Spring is the province of red days (statutory holidays, printed red on the calendar so you know you don’t need to go to work). He was right!
This Thursday was Skartorsdag or Maundy Thursday, where kids dress up like witches and get candy. Then comes Långfredag (Good Friday), Påskafton (Easter eve, not a red day but that doesn’t stop all the stores from closing), Easter Sunday (Påsk), and Annondagpåsk, the ‘second day of Easter’ or Easter Monday.
The last day of April is Valborg, a pre-Christian tradition where folks light bonfires and scare away the winter, eat herring, and drink snaps. That is followed by May Day, Ascension Day (Kristi himmelsfärdsdag) on June 2, Nationaldagen on June 6, and Midsummer’s day on June 24. The there is a long dry patch until the first of November because there is no labour day or Thanksgiving in Sweden. But spring and summer are pretty sweet!