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Swedish word of the day: mellandagar

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Swedish word of the day: mellandagar
Image: nito103/Depositphotos
08:59 CET+01:00
Over the holiday season, we're taking an in depth look at the Swedish words you'll be hearing a lot around this time of year.

You know those odd few days between Christmas and New Year when time seems to lose all meaning and your diet consists mainly of Christmas leftovers and chocolate? In Swedish, there’s a word for them.

Mellandagar literally means ‘between-days’ and is used to talk about the time between December 26th, which is a red day or public holiday in Sweden, and January 1st, also a public holiday.

Those five days in between aren’t official red days, although many Swedish companies will give employees a full or at least half day off on December 31st and the generous ones - or those which shut down operations entirely during the holiday period - will give all five as vacation. In offices where this doesn't happen, there might be a scramble over who gets to book this coveted time off as holiday. It’s definitely worth asking prospective employers their policy on mellandagar if you ever find yourself choosing between job offers in Sweden! 

This does mean that in many businesses, normal service doesn't resume until the new year, so watch out for reduced opening times during the mellandagar if you have errands to run.

This is also a good time of year for bargain-hunting thanks to the mellandagsreor or 'between-days sales' that many shops and companies offer. Or if you'd prefer to get out of town, many hotel, spa and ski resorts offer special mellandagar packages so you can take a break during this period.

Examples

Vi ska ha det mysigt i mellandagarna

We're going to have a cosy, relaxing time between Christmas and New Year

Vi har begränsade öppettider under julen och mellandagarna

We have limited opening hours from Christmas until New Year

Do you have a favourite Swedish word you would like to nominate for our word of the day series? Get in touch by email or if you are a Member of The Local, log in to comment below.
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