October 6, 2016

 

For many, the feeling of fall in the air brings a warm wistfulness that simply can not be rivaled during any other season. Sure, we anticipate the first blooms of spring after a long, dreary winter, and those carefree days of summer are a blast, but there are just so many wonderful reasons to love autumn!

 

Autumn

 

Like Americans, the Scandinavian people also adore this time of year. After all, the weather can be quite similar. In the Nordic, it is known as sensommer (“late summer”), and it’s considered the 5th season. Sensommer’s short, but sweet, arrival takes place when those summer evenings begin to shorten and cool, school days are once again upon us, and leaves begin to change from green to orange, red and yellow.

 

Autumn/Sensommer

 

Everywhere you look there seems to be a gorgeous amber hue, and everything has the smell or taste of freshly picked apples (or pumpkin spice!).  Cool breezes inspire us to walk a little closer to one another; maybe even light a fire in the evening and cuddling is a necessity!  The fall just evokes calm and coziness – hygge in all its comforting Danish glory! (Fika or mysigt is the equivalent in Swedish and koselig in Norway.)

 

Autumn table

A cozy dinner with friends embodies hygge

 

It being the season and all, there are plenty of ways to get your fix. From books, such as, The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way of Parenting and My Year of Living Danishly, to hygge-inducing recipes, like this one for Gammeldags Æblekage (old-fashioned apple cake). There are specific ways to go about creating hygge in your home, and all kinds of reasons why we all could use a little hygge in our lives! A UK college has even begun teaching the Danish concept of hygge to their students, and Starbucks went Nordic-crazy back in 2013. It is safe to say that this Scandinavian concept is here to stay. (If you still need more proof, visit our hygge-filled Pinterest page.)

 

Autumn dessert

Gammeldags Æblekage (apple cake)

 

In keeping with that theme, this Sunday, October 9th is Leif Erikson Day here in America. Leif Erikson (better known as Leifur Eiríksson in Icelandic) was an Icelandic (some say ‘norse’) explorer, generally believed to be the first European to reach the North American continent, nearly four centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.

 

Leif Erikson

The statue of Leifur Eiríksson in front of Hallgrímskirkja (Church of Iceland) in Reykjavík, which was a gift from the US to Iceland to commemorate the 1000 year anniversary of Alþingi, the parliament of Iceland.

 

 

According to the official Presidential Proclamation made by POTUS on October, 8, 2015:

 

“Since our Nation’s founding, we have been driven by strength in the face of uncertainty and by a bold spirit of adventure.  These defining forces were reflected in the early discovery of our continent when Leif Erikson — a son of Iceland and grandson of Norway — and his team became the first Europeans known to land on North American shores.  On Leif Erikson Day, we honor him as an important piece of our shared past with the Norwegian people, and we celebrate the perilous yet rewarding voyage he and his crew undertook one millennium ago.”
Leif Erikson

 

Honoring my Scandinavian heritage is yet another reason to love autumn! Speaking of, have you caught the Spirit of 125?