Parkdale Cromdale League invites people to enjoy community

In February, Edmontonians experienced a cold snap, with frigid temperatures and the accompanying windchill leading many people to stay indoors. Well, except for a few hardy souls who ventured outdoors for Parkdale Cromdale Community League’s Hygge 101 event on Feb. 1.

Organizer Sarah De Lano explains, “[The event] was just something we came up with to get out of winter. I happened across a book about hygge. It’s how to be in community, be unplugged, be connected to nature. Enjoy all that it is to live in a nordic area and celebrate our northern identity.”

Live music was part of the evening. | Talea Medynski

De Lano says the event was a very loose interpretation of hyyge. This Danish concept is all about being cozy, content, and fostering a sense of well-being. This idea is perfect for winter, so I was intrigued and decided to attend.

I skipped the walk through Kinnaird Ravine, although a brisk winter walk is part of hygge. When I arrived at the hall, the small lounge was set up with electric fireplaces, lights, board games, and colouring supplies. There was even live music, a welcome addition.

Better yet, there were snacks: mulled wine (warm wine with spices and oranges), porridge with assorted toppings, and elderberry juice. I took some mulled wine and porridge and settled in to visit and colour my spring-themed rabbit picture.

As De Lano says, hygge is about “[being] in the moment and enjoying the company you’re with. It’s like hibernating, but you’ve got other people in the den.”

There was no specific format or activities people were expected to do. In fact, attendees mostly socialized.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it felt very relaxed and warm, with a nice group of people. I’ve never been in charge of an event and felt so relaxed. Nobody seemed to be in a rush to get out of there,” says De Lano.

Even though I didn’t know many people there, everyone was welcome and it was a welcoming atmosphere. When I returned home, I even set up a cozy corner of the living room, complete with lights, an armchair, blankets, and access to books.

Edmonton is a northern city, so we’re pros at keeping ourselves busy during the winter with local festivals, winter sports, and socializing. But winter can also be isolating. People tend to stay indoors, away from the cold and from each other. Cabin fever can set in. It can be depressing when it’s cold and dark for so long, so it really is important to do things that make you feel good.

Participants could choose their own activities for the evening. | Talea Medynski

Parkdale Cromdale Community League is holding two more hygge events on March 1 and March 29. These days will have the same sorts of activities, but with a bonus.

“We may make some bird feeders and hang them in Kinnaird Ravine,” says De Lano.

March 1 will likely be when participants make bird feeders, and March 29 is when participants will hang them in the ravine.

Skating on Sheriff Robertson pond may be another possibility on both days, so be sure to bring your skates as well as a thermos of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate for walking in the ravine.

“Overall, we’re repeating the same idea of getting into the forest and coming back and warming up,” says De Lano.

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Featured Image: Parkdale Cromdale’s Hygge 101 featured an evening of colouring, board games, socializing, porridge, and mulled wine. | Talea Medynski