Lili – February 5, 2018
“I hate February!” complained my youngest, Anna. “Christmas is over, the weather is miserable and there’s nothing to do!”
I think a lot of people would agree, which is why it’s important to find some fun things happening at this time of year. Memories of families gathered around the fire in December are replaced by burst pipes, frozen gutters, and knocking giant lumps of ice off your boots every time you come into the house.
Luckily, that’s not a problem for residents of The Danish Home, where I volunteer in honor of my two-times great-grandmother, Margrethe Olsen, one of the home’s founders. Both residents and staff are in the capable hands of Sean Anthony Rodriguez, who has been employed at The Danish Home for 18 years.
As Director of Maintenance, he ensures that everyone is safe, warm and dry, whatever the weather. Sean Anthony says that everyone at The Danish Home feels like family to him, which makes him very happy. I suspect it’s because they all value what he does for them so much.
As in the U.S., February can be a gloomy month in Denmark. This year, the country is only expecting two hours of sunshine per day, 13 days of rain and average temperatures of 37F. But one thing that shines light throughout the month is the Frost Festival, which gives Danes a fun opportunity to enjoy music in different ways. Not your average music festival, the Frost Festival has been taking place in different venues all over Copenhagen since 2011. It began yesterday, February 4, and runs through February 25 this year.
Visitors come from around the world to join locals at eclectic concerts held in venues like empty swimming pools and abandoned aquariums. Or, how about an experience at a museum or botanical garden? It all sounds fascinating. Frost Festival explores the use of light as an art form, pushing boundaries to create amazing experiences for guests, and a broad range of music genres promises to provide something for everyone. Also, as part of Copenhagen’s Frost Festival, there is an 80-meter-long light installation at Ofelia Plads (pictured at the top of this post).
Here in Chicago, we have our own Frost Festival the last weekend of the month, February 24-25. It isn’t going to be suitable for Anna, since it’s centered around craft beers and specialty brewed and distilled beverages, but it sounds perfect for this time of year. It takes place in a heated tent in the Boystown/Lakeview area and is billed as “Chicago’s coolest block party.”
Of course, there are some other good things about February in Chicago. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and last Friday was Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow here in Chicagoland, so I guess we’re in for six more weeks of winter, if the legend holds true. Groundhog Day is something Anna does enjoy, so we watch the Bill Murray movie of the same name, which we’ve seen together so many times we can recite half the lines along with the actors.
Whatever the challenges February brings, at least it’s the shortest month of the year!