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Millvale hygge event to celebrate Danish concept of comfort, coziness

| Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

After winter's official start, some locals are practicing hygge (HOO'-gah) or the Danish practice of prioritizing comfort, coziness and simplicity in order to gain contentment.

The Millvale Community Library's Tupelo Honey Teas and Vivian Lee Croft Yoga are partnering to offer a Hygge New Year event featuring vendors and workshops from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 6 at the tea shop and library.

Croft will kick off the day by offering a donation-based “cozy winter yoga” class at 9 a.m. at the library. The class is ideal for all fitness levels and will include modifications. Students should wear warm, comfortable layers and bring mats, as well as any props they wish to use. This is an extension of Croft's weekly donation-based class she teaches from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays at the library. At the hygge event, she also will offer individual 15-minute consultations for $15.

“I'm partnering with (owner) Danielle (Spinola) and Tupelo Honey Teas to offer a fun community event that will help folks integrate warmth into their winter,” said Croft. “It's a beautiful way to start the new year, and I'm especially excited to continue to offer yoga and seasonal sessions of yoga and quarterly intention-setting alongside the shop and the library.”

Spinola said that hygge has helped her embrace winter, slow down and become more present.

“I feel like with winter, we focus on how it snows and how it's cold and hygge forces you to go out and actually enjoy the sunshine when the sun is shining, take an evening hike, you know, and see the stars — because in winter the stars are actually brighter — and just be thankful.”

Admission to the vendor fair is free. Most of the workshops are free, except for a couple in which participants will receive items to take home. Participants who want to purchase goods or services from vendors may pay additional fees.

“It's all about embracing the Nordic lifestyle and Danish lifestyle and Scandinavian, where you sit in front of the fireplace with your cozy socks on and read a book with your cup of tea or hot chocolate. So, in the tea shop here is the perfect place to do this event and the library as well because of the books, obviously,” said Susan McClellan, library executive director, who will lead a free rustic picture frame workshop. She encourages those interested in the movement to check out the library's many hygge books.

Sheena Carroll, library outreach coordinator and Girls Write Pittsburgh facilitator, will head a found poetry seminar with participants creating prose out of magazine or book text.

For $5, Spring Hill-based Little House Big Art will teach guests to make garlands featuring pompoms and tassels.

“Garlands are an easy, festive way to add soft, simple festive touches to any space. Very hygge!” said Elizabeth Bashur, founder and owner. The artists also will teach people to make $10 meditation altars using tins or small boxes decorated with small objects and encouraging words for the new year.

Meanwhile, Katie Oldaker of Oh Candles will sell soy candles hand-poured in Millvale in a variety of scents such as vanilla cedar and lavender chamomile. Prices range from $9 to $30.

Amy Green of Northside-based Pittsburgh Acupuncture & Massageworks will speak about acupuncture's benefits and administer $10 ear acupuncture treatments. Green discovered the hygge movement while visiting Denmark 10 years ago and has incorporated it into her clinic's use of muted colors, aromatherapy and dim lighting.

“People in Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia have a strong sense of family and tradition. And it's fun and good for the spirit,” she said.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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