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‘Tis the season to be jolly, or ’twas – the Christmas season has now passed. Christmas in Sweden is full of calm – from the First of Advent to the celebration of Saint Lucia on the 13th of December, and on to the Christmas holiday itself. All in the peaceful darkness of the high latitudes.
Like its European neighbors (as well as much of the rest of the world, of course!), though, the calm of Sweden is not all that comes during the holiday season. Mall and high street shopping galore – the shops are prop-full of Swedes looking for the right gifts for their family and friends. In the calm of this chilly winter month, city centres are full of people bustling about, making purchases right and left, all bumping into each other in the process. At least more than usual!
But even after the Christmas holiday, the shopping doesn’t stop. Like many other places, there are after-Christmas sales for eager shoppers who, perhaps, didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas. Luckily, the shops want to get rid of their excess wares anyway, so, to the mutual benefit of buyers and sellers, the mellandagsrea has begun!
Often starting on the 27th of December, the day after Annandag jul (the day after Christmas Day), prices on popular electronics, clothes, and more sink by many percent. The name mellandagsrea comes from mellandagarna, referring to the non-holidays in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and rea (en rea), which means sale. Mellandagarna itself is a compound of mellan, meaning middle, and dagarna, meaning the days (from en dag, day).
Commonly, sales will extend past the mellandagarna – but this is often not announced until just when they are about to end. In this way, the mellandagsrea is not so different from after-Christmas sales in other countries.
So if you’re in Sweden and want to take advantage – look for all the signs that say mellandagsrea, just rea, or the good ol’ English word sale, to catch a bargain!