Wednesday, June 1, 2011

29 Days, 29 Observations

June 2, 2011


LIKE:
I love the Danish springtime, but for reasons other than just the sunshine, warmer temps and flowers.  I LOVE that we have 4 extra holidays, all which associated with the Easter Season.
  • The week before Easter everyone has a holiday on Thursday, Friday as well as the Monday after. 
  • On the 4th Friday after Easter everyone has a holiday called "Store Bededag" (Big Prayer Day).
  • 40 days after Easter everyone has a holiday called "Kristihimmelfartsdag" ("Jesus, hurry up to heaven" day). It always falls on a Thursday, and most offices are also closed the Friday after. (In fact that is why we are off work today!)
  • Anden Pinsedag (2nd ascension day) comes on the 7th Monday after Easter, which again, is a holiday! So you can see that besides Easter break, we have 3 long weekends before summer ever gets here! 


DISLIKE:  (Not really true dislike, but something closer to GUILT)
It kind of bothers me that all of these AWESOME holidays are associated with a religious belief/ceremony because honestly Denmark is a very non-religious country (as a general rule). It seems a bit odd to me that we have 4 big holidays all in the celebration of something connected to Jesus Christ, yet most of us in DK only go to church once a year (unless there is a confirmation or a baptism in the family). So maybe dislike is the wrong word... it is more like an "uncomfortable" feeling that we benefit from something that we don't really "work toward" ....if that makes sense?? And I am sure I am the only oddball that feels a bit bothered by this. 


Note: I did accept my holiday today in honor of Kristihimmelfartsdag; I did not feel so guilty that I declined the chance to stay home and relax! 

8 comments:

Amy said...

Hahahaha, again we are similar in likes and "dislikes" or uncomfortable feelings...Norway is also like Denmark not a very religious country and yet they take every religious holiday to their benefit. It bothered me a lot at first but now I have been here so long and I love the free days that I don´t mind. I didn´t make the rules, just trying to live by them!!! :-))

Enjoy your free days, do you get Friday also?? The barnehagen is open but I have off on Fridays, so free free free!!! :-))

Lindsay said...

I love all of the long weekends happening this time of year! I agree it is a bit strange that they are all affiliated with religion, yet many people do not celebrate in a religious fashion.

ladyfi said...

I love all the extra holidays we get in the summer...

Megan said...

Oh I completely understand what you're saying about not being a religious nation, yet celebrating religious holidays to the fullest. I actually just said something to my boyfriend (a Norwegian) about that recently when he was on his LONGGGGG easter break. He had no answers. LOL. I guess when I move to Norway I will just have to learn to live with it (I guess I won't do much complaining about days off since I'm used to having a mere 2-weeks off per year here in the US). :-)

Caution said...

I was thinking about this when I saw your FB post this morning. And then there's the irony of the U.S. supposedly being a very Christian nation but how many Americans would even understand what the ascension even refers to?

Kirstin said...

DITTO. BIG TIME.
(and by 'ditto', I mean, the Weegies have the same holidays but also never go to church. psh.)

EKinDK said...

One thing that I've noticed is how HUGE confirmation season is in DK -- it seems that every single 13-year-old goes through this Christian, church-based ritual, and almost all of them that I've talked to about this have said flat out that they're not really religious but do it for the 1) huge party and 2) the imminent mountain of cash gifts from family and friends. I guess it could be compared to church weddings in the US when many people aren't actually religious, but the whole purpose of confirmation is to confirm and announce yourself as a Christian, right? Hmmm...

Garkbit said...

The "problem" is even larger because the 1st day of Whitsun and Constitution Day (5th June) are also national holidays and 1st May is a half-day holiday for Trades Union members. However this year these all fall on weekends.

The irritating thing is that there are then no more national holidays until christmas! They really should move Store Bededag, which is a made-up festival anyway, to late August when people would enjoy a last-blast-of-summer long weekend. Of course this would completely disrupt the Confirmation season.

The pseudo-christian aspect of these holidays doesn't bother me that much. I guess that coming from a very secular country myself it seems quite natural to have a lot of "formerly religious holidays" in the calendar.