Cinnamon rolls, pickled herring, Abba and… cosy Fridays. Yes, it’s true, the tradition of staying in on a Friday night, getting cosy on the sofa, watching TV and indulging in some sweet and salty snacks is so immensely popular that, these days, it’s as Swedish as Ikea.
The word of “fredagsmys”, or cosy Friday, was first coined in the 1990s as part of a marketing campaign for Swedish crisp brand OLW, but it grew into a popular movement in the 2000s. According to a recent survey by Swedish Tex-Mex brand Santa Maria, one-third of Swedes aged 15 to 70 take part in fredagsmys every week, whilst a massive 78% enjoy fredagsmys once a month.
Why cosy Fridays?
In most countries, the end of the working week means strapping on your party boots and having a big night out with friends or a great dinner at home. But for home-loving Swedes, Friday night means it is time to relax at home with family and friends, wearing your snuggest, fluffiest clothes, watching TV, playing games and eating something delicious. In Sweden, this custom is known as “mys”, or cosiness, which is a close relative of the Danish concept of “hygge”.
Cosy Friday is the beginning of your weekend, you have a sense of freedom and you don’t have to think about the next day. It’s just a great start to the weekend.
Back in the 1950s, Sunday was the day Swedish families reserved for festive dinners. In the 1960s, celebrations became less formal and were moved to Saturday. Fast-forward to today, and Friday has become the family high point of the week in Sweden.
Every family has its own version of fredagsmys but most would agree that a respectable cosy Friday ought to feature blankets, board games and, perhaps most importantly, comfort food, which often consists of tacos, pizza, crisps, and sweet treats such as Swedish pick’n’mix.
Snacks and crisps for cosy Friday
The term fredagsmys was popularised by OLW, a Swedish crisp manufacturer, so it goes without saying that no cosy Friday night would be complete without salty snacks such as crisps, dip and cheese puffs. These days, innovative Swedish snack manufacturers are picking up on the clean-eating trend, developing healthier versions of the salty classics. Examples include OLW’s lentil crisps and root vegetable crisps from Lantmännen.
Tacos, pick’n’mix and other cosy Friday food
Apart from being cosy night, Friday night in Sweden is also taco night. Yes, you read that correctly – tacos – the classic Tex-Mex dish that consists of a hard shell made from crispy corn filled with seasoned ground beef. More tacos are eaten in Sweden and Norway than anywhere else in Europe (Source:”Taco mexican style” by Malin Eriksson), with a recent consumer survey (commissioned by Santa Maria) confirming that 85% of Swedes are regular Tex-Mex eaters and that 55% prefer to eat their Tex Mex on a Friday.
Apart from tacos and salty snacks, other popular foods for cosy Fridays include Swedish pick’n’mix, pizza or hamburgers and soft drinks. Together, all these delicious treats, which are usually eaten whilst watching Friday-night TV, surrounded by your loved ones, combine to make the perfect start to the weekend.