Translation:We say that holidays are red days.
it is pretty interesting how i find a lot of cultural similarities between Russia and Sweden... We call them red days too (it started before the soviet union ;P)
Do you know if that was also because of printed almanacs or just because of the positive connotations of 'red', like in красный угол and expressions like that?
i think it is because of the positive connotation of the word, it actually meant "beautiful" in old russian..
i just googled it and there is also a theory about the holidays being printed red in calendars :)
So basically we can't really know whether it's just the old meaning of красный or the color in the almanac, then. :) There's a handy Swedish expression for that: Därom tvista de lärde (об этом спорят ученые or 'on that point the learned disagree (doctors disagree)')
In serbian you also have "crveno slovo" lit. "Röd bokstav" meaning religious holiday and its because of the red print of the date. So i assume the russian origin is the same but красный всмысле прекрасный probably had addition influence i guess
Very interesting all this! I just supposed they used a red font to mark holidays on calendars, and learned about the Russian similarity!
In Hungary we call them piros betűs napok sometimes. It means something like red letter days. It's because the holidays and the weekends are red in our calendars.
In English, we refer to red letter holy days in the Anglican and Roman Catholic religious calendar as well. Since the major feasts were written in red even in medieval books of hours, I imagine some sort of term has existed like this in all Central and Western European languages.
In the Netherlands the "red days" do not exist in the meaning of holidays. At least I don't know of this meaning ;-) A bit sad not to be part of all Central and Western European languages.
They don't exist in German neither. So obviously we also are not a part of all Central and Western European languages ;-)
I've never heard of red days in English ... But maybe because I'm an atheist!
Right, it refers to their presence on the religious calendar. I doubt anyone but someone connected pretty closely with the C of E or RC would use those now. If you look in the novels of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or even probably Evelyn Waugh, though, they are everyday parlance.
Yeah, the phrase has floated about the aether, but not something I paid attention to. Thank you for the clarification! Have a lingot!
Public holidays are red in printed calendars, so in Sweden we call those days red days.
På engelska har vi "red letter days", av precis samma anledning. Jag svarade med detta men det blev inte accepterat. Det förefaller vara en ganska nära motsvarighet... vad tycker ni?
I am a native speaker of North American English (Canada, so there is historically a strong British influence), and to me, a red letter day is a day where something unexpectedly lucky happens. The opposite is a black letter day, in which something unexpectedly bad happens. There is no specific connection to holidays...at least, not in the way I'm used to it.
Thanks for your imput, Mr. Magic. And I've never heard it in America either;so it surprised me to see that Alf is from northern California, like me. According to wikipedia, it's used in Scandinavia and some Latin American countries, as well as the U.K.
I always assumed it was a U.S. thing, since no-one really uses that expression here in Australia. We just say public holiday.
I have also heard red letter day as a special day of some sort, as nowawillow indicates, but I have never heard black letter day. Traditionally, all non-feast days were in black, so that would be surprising to me, but on modern Anglican religious calendars, regular non-holidays are mostly in green, while black is reserved for days of mourning, such as All Souls and Good Friday. Maybe, then, it is a result of Anglican influence lasting longer in Canada. As I say, it is now limited to traditionalist Anglicans and Roman Catholics, as far as I know.
Agreed! I distinctly remember reading a story in elementary school (Eastern US) way too many decades ago to admit, about "Red Letter Days" and what they meant. And holidays (say Washington's birthday, not just Christmas) were regularly printed in red on calendars. Not seen as much nowadays -- pure black and white is cheaper!
If I recall here in America so called red letter days were mostly federal or state recognized holidays. But I can recall seeing Good Friday in red, it is not officially recognized as a holiday here.
red letter days have yet another connotation here, in Hungary - women use it sometimes for the period days and they are definitely not celebration-worthy days then. :-)
Bank Holiday still isn't accepted? I understand that an alternative American English is used throughout this course, but this is the first instance where the actual English isn't accepted. I have reported it through the usual means a number of times now, cheers
I agree - closest translation of the intention behind 'röd dag' in the UK is Bank Holiday (except for the fact that Sundays are not really official Bank Holidays, whereas they are red days in Sweden). We use 'bank holiday' for a day that is normally a working day, but has been designated a public holiday by the government/state/powers that be. Bizzarely, it's by no means guaranteed that a bank will close on a bank holiday.
Oh God, I'm confused now ... Does this phrase mean Bank Holiday or weekend or what?
My mormor, whose mother was completely Swedish, used to have hand-stitched calendars up in her house, and as a young child it didn't occur to me that it was (a very small part of) Swedish culture being preserved in our family. I wonder if my grandmother is even aware of her decision to use red for holidays!