This Swedish Term Literally Translates to 'Cozy Friday'

What you need to know about Fredagsmys, right this minute.

October 26, 2018
Photo by Bobbi Lin

The tea's a-brewing and the fireplace's a-crackling. We're getting Cozy at Home with warm-and-cuddly ideas for cooking, decorating, and more—so grab your fuzzy slippers and join us.

I don’t know about you, but by the time Friday rolls around, I’m feeling more wrung out than my favorite go-to Swedish sponge cloths after a good ol’ cleaning session. As much as I’d genuinely love to catch that show/exhibit/restaurant opening, you know my mind has already made a loungewear-clad beeline to the couch―wine and snacks (current favorite: Trader Joe’s Sour Cream & Onion Corn Puffs) at the ready, Great British Baking Show queued up.

Imagine my surprise, then, when my Swedish husband introduced me to a longstanding (well, okay, since the 1990s) tradition called Fredagsmys, which literally translates to “cozy Friday.” An actual designation for staying in on a Friday to enjoy a relaxing evening with snacks, usually in front of the television? Yes, really. I had found my people.

“The elements of Fredagsmys vary a bit depending on your age and whether you spend it with family or friends,” Steffi Knowles-Dellner tells me. Steffi is a Swedish food stylist and author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously. “Essentially, it consists of hunkering down and relaxing in the company of others, often in front of the TV. This is perhaps not surprising given that for much of the year, hibernating is our best defense against the cold and dark nights.”

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Top Comment:
“What a lovely story, honoring the auntie- niece/nephew bond! Thanks for bringing a smile to my lips.”
— Lazyretirementgirl

Those of you familiar with hygge, the Danish lifestyle trend best known for giving you permission to cuddle up with tea and lots of low-lit candles, will be happy to know that mys is the cozy Swedish equivalent.

How this translates in a Swedish home is actually quite straightforward. Every Friday evening, many Swedes will gather with family and friends to get their fixings for a “Taco Fredag” (Taco Friday), their Fredagsmys dinner of choice.

After the tacos come the snacks. Usually it’s something simple like popcorn, chips, and/or candy (yes, Swedish Fish too, though they’re just known as pastellfisk there). The important part is that everyone is comfy under their blankets, surrounded by plenty of pillows and candles. The weekend’s arrived, after all.

In my house, we actually observe Fredagsmys every. single. Friday. (When you have a small child, rituals are very, very important.) My husband will normally bring home a bag of Pirate’s Booty or Garden Veggie Straws (our daughter’s favorite), which we’ll all share while watching Lana’s show of choice after dinner (we don’t do tacos every Friday, by the way, maybe just once every couple of months). Sometimes, it’s followed up with a scoop of ice cream. Sometimes there’s a candle or two lit if it’s winter and the sun’s already set at 4:30 p.m.

Excuse for snacks aside, Fredagsmys is a very sweet time for our family. It’s a nice way to leave the previous week at the door and greet the upcoming weekend ahead, to catch up on each other’s days while basking in the glow of children’s programming. Simple, yes, but wholly fulfilling.

Fredagsmys is really all about enjoying life's little pleasures. I highly recommend you give it a try and make it your own.

Do you have any Fredagsmys-like rituals? Let me know in the comments below!

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Lynda R. October 28, 2018
SO loved this! Many years ago, my sister and her husband had two very young children and I was a single fun aunt. Every Friday, my niece and nephew would do a sleepover. Often their widowed grandmother would join us for dinner but by 7 pm, it was the three of us, assorted treats and movies of their choice. Occasionally, we did theme nights like pu pu platters and Blue Hawaii or Lady and the Tramp with spagetti. This started when they were about 2 1/2 and five and while the sleepovers ended by 5th grade, the Friday dinners switched to ethnic restaurants of choice and a movie at the local art theatre any Friday they didn’t have school functions right until the youngest headed off to college. They resumed during holiday breaks and even the though the oldest (my niece) is married and about to have her first child, the three of us still do a Friday dinner for three when they are both in town. It did a couple of great things- my sister and her husband had a guaranteed date night with a Saturday morning to sleep in. The children had another adult with whom they formed a bond and this was valuable during the teen age “my parents don’t get me” stage and the family network was strengthened. This safe harbor has been good for us all and has allowed us to take a number of their young friends into our family circle when they had no families of their own. Cozy Fridays have, for us, created a cozy life. Thanks again!
Lazyretirementgirl October 31, 2018
What a lovely story, honoring the auntie- niece/nephew bond! Thanks for bringing a smile to my lips.
Antoinette October 31, 2018
I love that! The video is beautifully charming, and so is this story from Lynda R.
Author Comment
Hana A. October 31, 2018
Oh Lynda, your comment just warmed my heart! You sound like an amazing auntie and beautiful person, thank you so much for sharing a bit of yourself with us here. I'm so grateful to have readers like you. <3<br /><br />PS: Pu pu platters are so fun!!