Culture

Here’s how to really relax on a Friday, just like the Swedes (they even have a name for it)

Friday Fredagsmys


Did you know the Swedish have a specific word for staying home on a Friday night? Of course they do; it’s called Fredagsmys, and it sounds amazing.

If you have found that the pressure to be a party animal once the weekend arrives has gradually become less and less appealing, then Fredagsmys may be the ideal antidote.

Scheduling a night of Friday cosiness is the perfect pastime to introduce to your end-of-the-week agenda when you are feeling worldweary.

Luckily, and rather aptly, it requires little more than grabbing a few blankets and snacks and settling down in front of the television with those you love. Follow these tips to create your own cosy Friday night in, the Swedish way.

  1. The first main requirement to ensure you are doing Fredagsmys right, lies in creating a mysig (pleasant) environment. This word implies a broad sense of contentment and evokes anything that affords us a feeling of comfort and warmth. A mysig atmosphere can therefore easily be created with low lighting, candles, cushions and blankets for that extra element of cosiness. The idea is to create a sacred space where you can snuggle, or mysa, in absolute comfort.
  2. While one could in theory do Fredagsmys by themselves, it is far preferable for Swedes to share these cosy evenings with those they care about – but who this might be is up to you. Everyone can enjoy Fredagsmys whether they are a family or a group of friends.
  3. Oddly enough, one meal that has become synonymous with Fredagsmys is the humble taco. This delightful cultural fusion sees the relaxed pace of a Scandinavian evening combined with the ease of a much-loved Mexican delicacy. So, while you might be tempted to simply order a pizza – a completely valid option for an authentic Fredagsmys – if you want to make your evening that bit more special and intentional you might consider preparing this simple meal with friends. Gather some delicious ingredients for an easy-to-throw-together feast of fresh and tasty tacos to accompany your evening of staying cosy at home.
  4. To sustain your evening of Fredagsmys you will likely want some great television to watch. What better viewing material then, than a box set of any one of the brilliantly gritty crime drama series to have emerged from Scandinavia over the years? You will also want to equip yourself with a range of salty and sweet snacks including crisps, popcorn and candy to nibble on as your Friday night unfolds in blissful repose.

And there you have it: Fredagsmys, a wonderful way to legitimatise the joyful luxury of lounging at home.


Extract from The Serenity Passport by Megan C Hayes, published by White Lion Publishing, distributed by Allen & Unwin, RRP $27.99.


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