Celebrate the winter solstice with hygge

Ethan and Jennifer Knight work on a wreath using natural materials at the 2015 fall festival. Courtesy Felix Neck.

The U.K.’s word of the year in 2016 was, not surprisingly, Brexit, but the runner-up, hygge, provided a nice counterpoint. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is defined as “a concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing.”

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary will embrace that happy notion from the third happiest country in the world with a hygge celebration this month. Appropriately, the event will take place on the winter solstice, Dec. 21, the longest night of the year but also the day that marks the turning point when winter creeps toward spring with a lengthening of days.

The Winter Solstice Hygge celebration will incorporate a sunset hike, a potluck dinner in the barn, a fire pit, and treats. The Felix Neck website describes the event in very appealing terms, writing, “Hygge is the Danish practice of creating warmth, connection, and well-being, and is often celebrated with good food, warm blankets, and candlelight. Join us for a community celebration to welcome the colder months ahead.”

Winter Solstice Hygge Potluck.” Friday, Dec. 21, Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary off the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, Edgartown. Hike at 3:45 pm, dinner at 5 pm. Free and open to all. Bring a dish to share, and bring your own blanket. Finger foods, precooked dishes, place settings, and beverages appreciated.