Evanston’s Hygge Fest celebrates the traditional Danish festival


Daily file photo by Zoe Malin

Hygge Fest will run through the remainder of February, sharing the hygge festivities with Evanston residents.

Selena Kuznikov, Reporter

With baked pastries, crafting and community yoga, Hygge Fest offers Evanston residents an opportunity to slow down and get cozy.

The fourth annual Hygge Fest, organized by Downtown Evanston, is a combination of events running through the month of February that aims to support small businesses while celebrating the traditional Danish festival. The Danish phrase of “hygge,” pronounced “hue-gah,” refers to coziness and comfort throughout the bitter cold winter months. The purpose of Hygge Fest is to bring that taste of comfort to Evanston residents.

Hygge Fest events include making candle holders, crocheting rugs out of t-shirts and baking sourdough bread from scratch. The festival has both free and ticketed events hosted by individual small businesses in Evanston. 

Bookends & Beginnings owner Nina Barrett said the business has been involved with Hygge Fest since the inaugural event. 

“I was on the lookout for events that fit in with the overall spirit of hygge,” Barrett said. “That is creating a sense of coziness and conviviality and it is especially something that we try to do in February because that tends to be such a depressing, dark, cold month.”

Bookends & Beginnings will host two different workshops this month: a two-part event detailing how to create a sourdough loaf from scratch on Feb. 15 and a writer’s workshop on ways to make writing a comforting experience on Feb. 22.

Evanston Made, a nonprofit arts organization, is hosting a series of events as part of Hyggefest. From Feb. 1 to 28, it will offer community and art-focused events at Canal Shores Golf Course as a part of the organization’s Winter Wonderland experience.

Lisa Degliantoni, the founder of Evanston Made, said the concept of hygge has made the community organization more sensitive to the crafts that take place in cold weather. 

“There’s always so much emphasis spent on summer events,” Degliantoni said. “There really wasn’t that much awareness around the types of chill out, reading and art crafts that hygge promotes.”

Newport Coffee House, located at 622 Davis St., decided to offer a special for a drip coffee and cinnamon roll for $6.95 as part of Hygge Fest.

Newport Coffee House barista Matthew Suckling said the coffee shop joined Downtown Evanston’s fika crawl — similar to a bar crawl, but based on the Swedish concept of fika that entails slowing down and reconnecting with yourself and others.

“It’s an opportunity for people to get together with friends and take a break from work, and enjoy,” Suckling said. 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @selenakuznikov

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