Dry January – sign of a change in drinking culture in Finland

One increasingly common New Year’s resolution, and one increasingly kept, is a decision to spend January as an alcohol-free month in Finland. Even only a few weeks abstinence can refresh both body and mind, reports YLE News.

“More than a few people notice that Christmas and New Year holiday indulgence means not only bigger meals, but higher consumption of alcohol. With the start of a new month and a new year, the threshold to capping the bottle may well be lower than at any other time of the year.”

22 % of the Finnish alcohol-using adults were keeping the alcohol-free January in 2013, according to data gathered by EHYT ry, the project managing organisation and NordAN member organisation in Finland.

“Besides the health benefits, a good motivation (to take this month alcohol free) is also saved money,” project coordinator Leena Sipinen told. “Only few people count how much money they spend for alcohol in a month or a year. In addition to saved euros, staying alcohol-free saves also your liver, time, calories and relationships,” Sipinen added.

Starting from 2004 group of public health and socially active organisations have supported the initiative of Dry January (Tipaton Tammikuu in Finnish) inviting people to abstain during the first month of the year. From 2012 the project is managed by EHYT ry.