Jun 06 2005

This is a holiday?

Today is Sweden’s National Day, and for the first time since it was so designated in 1983 (prior to that is was just "Flag Day"), it’s actually a public holiday and most people are enjoying the day off from work. Too bad the chilly, gray weather kept most of them inside and under a blanket. (That’s where Dr. Darling has been anyway.)

But since Sweden’s calendar was already a little heavy on public holidays (there are 13 total), the government decided that it couldn’t add another one without eliminating one of the half-dozen that are connected to lesser feasts on the Christian calendar. The victim: Whit Monday.

This actually caused some grumbling from Swedes, not because anyone gave a wit about Whit Monday (I’ve been dying to write that!) but because Whit Monday always falls on a Monday, thus guaranteeing a three-day weekend. June 6th, being a fixed date, will occasionally fall in the middle of the week, so no long weekend. Or worse yet, on Saturday or Sunday…and that will mean no workday off at all.

So how did I celebrate Sweden’s National Day? By doing my U.S. taxes. As a citizen living abroad I get an automatic extension until June 15, and then because Sweden has a tax treaty with the U.S., I get credit for the income tax I pay here and don’t owe anything, so filing is really just a formality (but no less a pain-in-the-@$$).

I will likely be a Swedish citizen by next year’s National Day, in which case I think I should probably try to do something more a little more "Swedish" to mark the holiday. And NO, it will NOT involve herring!

Feed my ego!

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