🕯️❄️ Nordic Winter Lights: Ice Lanterns to Warm Up the Winter❄️🕯️
Many people in America experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months. We have discovered one of the ways that the Nordic peoples minimizing the effects of SAD: embracing winter for what it is rather than fighting against it. For some, the winter months can be long, cold and dreary. But winter can also be a time for warmth and creativity as you explore new activities.
The Nordics have created many winter activities to get people outside during the winter months for fresh air and exercise. One of my favorites of these activities is the winter lights, or ice lanterns. These lanterns create a feeling of warmth and illumination during the dark, cold months.
Being inspired by The Nordic Winter Cookbook, I followed the Nordics' advice and decided to brighten up our walkway trails at night using these winter lights. Not only are these lanterns lots of fun to make on a weekend, but they also lift the dark stillness of the night when you have to go outside.
The winter lights can be simply made in a Bundt pan. They can be festively decorated using clippings from the woods, such as evergreen boughs, pinecones, berries, or even dried oranges. My favorite is the just plain ice ones, for they let off the most peaceful, gentle glow from the flicker of the candle off the ice. There is such a calming effect that the light gives.
❄️Here’s how to make an ice lantern of your own:
1: Bundle up and grab a pair of scissors to gather your outdoor clippings. Be creative, try anything and everything that you think is pretty from nature. Remember to take time to enjoy this part, even in the cold, for being in fully engaged with nature has many benefits of its own.
2: Place an inch or two of your woodsy clippings into the Bundt pan. Afterwards, cover the clippings with cold water. Fill the Bundt pan with water up to the brim.
3: Set pan somewhere safe outside to freeze overnight if the temperature is below freezing. If it's not below freezing just yet, place it safely in the freezer, taking care not to spill.
4: In the morning, bundle up, put on a pair of gloves and bring the Bundt pan inside. Turn it upside down onto a cookie sheet or board to release the ice block. This should only take a few minutes. You can use your hands to warm the pan or slowly pour a little warm water over the top of the pan to speed the process along. You will feel the ice release from the pan.
5: Once out of the pan, place your lantern outside wherever you want. A wide porch railing, steps, or sidewalk are all great places. Place a tea light candle or battery-operated tea light candle in the center of the ice lantern. When it gets dark, light or turn on the candle. Enjoy the peaceful, flickering reflection of the flame off the ice. 💙❄️
I hope this inspires you to get outside and warm up winter in your own way. Rethink spending the day indoors to get away from the chill. Instead, look at this season as a time to discover the magic of the snow-covered world, the power of the cold, and the warmth of the space you create within it.
❄️ For more information on how to embrace winter from the wisdom of the Nordics, read this wonderful article, The Norwegian Secret To Enjoying A Long Winter (fastcompany.com). The article explains further how to rethink cold weather. ❄️
By: Jocelynn Norman
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