On 23rd of June, we celebrated midsommar, a day when people in the northern hemisphere enjoy the longest hours of day light! However, Mid-summer is not the pinnacle of summer; instead, it symbolizes the start of summer, the season of vacation!
How public vacation and holidays looks in Sweden?
Nowadays, Sweden is the country with one of the longest public holidays in the entire world. These holidays include:
- 5 weeks of paid vacation
- 26 public holidays
- 6 defect holidays (half-day off)
- 480-day of parental leave
- Several long weekends
Funny thing, if the public holiday falls on a Thursday, then the Friday becomes a day-off by default which is the same in Iran.
Remember, five-week vacation is a minimum; it is more common for companies, universities, universities library and research institutes to grant six weeks of vacation for their employees. As far as I know, most Swedes take their vacation after celebrating Mid-summer: the weather is warm now, and the time is also perfectly in line with the school holiday of pupils. Starting from Mid-summer, they could probably in a resort island, beaches in the South, or even their own summer houses in the countryside: anywhere but not the office!
Before visiting a place, keep in mind that you need to check their holiday hours, even if it is a bakery! For me as a new-comer, my first feeling is inconvenience: tax agency, banks, even the language school only open a few hours (usually 10 AM to 14 PM) during Monday to Friday. Hence, I need to plan everything before so that I can squeeze some time in my schedule in order to have my ID card, bank account, Swedish class registration settled. Certainly it could be even more inconvenient for those who have full-time job.
But when you live here longer, the advantages of taking long vacation begin to emerge. In the personal level, vacation makes us healthier both physically and mentally, being able to work more efficiently, which in terms also benefits the employers. From my personal experience in Sweden, the above statement is absolutely true: no matter where I am, I am firstly impressed, then get used to the excellent attitude of the locals: they are always professional, helpful, friendly and patient.