Congratulations to Sweden’s version of “TGIF” (Thank God It’s Friday) — “Fredagsmyset” (cozy Friday) — which turned 20 this year. It may mean dinner on the sofa in front of television, or tacos, or cheese doodles, or candy or some other props that make Friday night worth celebrating.

Why did Swedes begin this now-established tradition of “cozy Friday”? According to Charlotte Hagström, a researcher in ethnology at Lund University, the man behind the concept is Johan Brinkenberg in Sävedalen. In Göteborgs-Posten on June 30, 1994, Brinkenberg wrote an article in which he stated: “Fredagsmys framför tv:n är en tradition hos Familjen Brinkenberg i Sävedalen.” (Cozy Friday in front of the television is a tradition at the Brinkenberg family in Sävedalen.)


Aha! There’s the proof, this is the source from where all crumbled chips and emptied soda bottles come. Brinkenberg, however, though he is constantly reminded by his colleagues at work that he was the one who coined the idea, doesn’t think of himself as the originator.

“I don’t think we were the only ones,” he says. “There were many others who used the phrase already at the time.” No Swede seems to have gotten tired of the concept however. “Fredagsmys” is still going strong. But in the Brinkenberg household it’s different these days: “The kids are all moved out, so Friday nights aren’t as bound to the TV-sofa anymore. But I still think fredagsmys is the best way to spend a Friday. The difference today is that the chips and the candy is gone, and now we have wine and shellfish.”