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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Sweden Series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 23, Sports Break. In Swedish, it’s called sportlov.
The Sports Break is a week-long school holiday that occurs in February or March.
In this lesson, you will learn about the Sports Break in Sweden, the story behind it, when it occurs, and what people do during it!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question? -
Do you know which week the Sports Break usually falls on in the Stockholm region?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Sports Break in Sweden has its origins in the so-called Fuel Break, or kokslov, which was introduced during the 1940s, to save on the use of heat in schools. To give the school students something meaningful to do, several different activities were arranged. The activities focused on outdoor recreation and winter sports, or vintersporter, whether it be doing sports at home or traveling to the Swedish mountains. Initially it was supposed to be for children from bigger cities to enable them to have the opportunity to experience the mountain environment.
During the 1950s, other arguments in support of school children leaving the school at the end of winter also started to emerge. Due to the risk of spreading infection, or infektion, and disease, or sjukdom, during that particular time of year, it was practical to close the schools for a short time. It was still mainly in the cities that the Sports Break was most common, but during this time the holiday began to spread to the countryside as well. It was not until the end of the decade that the Sports Break had its breakthrough in the country.
Today, the sports break holiday in Sweden lasts for a week during February or March, between weeks 7 and week 12. The time of the break is partly determined by when Easter falls, as the students usually have another week-long break for Easter. In a year when Easter falls early, the winter sports break will be planned earlier too so they won’t be too close.
Some Swedish areas have flexible Sports Breaks, where each student picks which week they want to have off. The student can pick between a numbers of weeks, and there are usually three different weeks to pick from.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which week the winter break usually falls on in the region of Stockholm?
The answer is during week nine. The different areas of the country will divide the Sports Break so that not everyone has the holiday during the same week. If everyone had Sports Breaks during the same week, the Swedish ski resorts and other activity centers would become too packed with people!
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have a Sports Break in your country?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!