Thursday, June 13, 2013
A blue day
The Thuringia region long earned lots of money from blue dye. This dye was made from the plant above ("woad", looking not very blue). This was actually the blue used for the Swedish flag in the beginning.
Thus industry was very important to the region, and we were told they still have an expression in German meaning something like "taking a blue day". That meant taking a day of not doing any real work, just sitting around gambling and drinking lots and lots of beer. The reason for this was that you were expected to pee into basins full of woad leaves, to help with the process of making dye.
Apparently they still use this expression to indicate that you are taking a day off.