Warmth, Life and Light: Fire Rituals to Help You Through Autumn-Winter
Scandi interiors expert at Contura explores the connection between humans and fire and reveals why it’s the key to getting through the colder months.
Humans have long been drawn to fire and never more so than during the cold, dark winter months. Providing heat and a glowing focal point for families or friends to gather around, the therapeutic dance of flames is also known to lower blood pressure and promote relaxation.
Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura, Catharina Björkman, says: “Fire is fuel on a practical level – providing us warmth, light and the ability to cook – but also powers us both spiritually and culturally.
“It’s a multi-sensory experience; our eyes are naturally drawn to the flickering flames, our ears prick at the crackling, snapping and popping noises, the warmth causes our skin to flush, and the smell of firewood lingers long after the flames subside.
“Fire offers us a cosy setting for quiet moments of contemplation and acts as a focal point for socialising. Providing the much needed comfort the cold season lacks it’s unsurprising we are all so drawn to a lit fireplace or woodburning stove in autumn-winter.”
Read on for Catharina’s guide to embracing fire rituals at home this autumn-winter…
Humans have been making and gathering around fires for millennia. Traditionally seen as a symbol of purification and honouring divinity, in modern society it’s more often associated with energy, joy and passion. But it’s a fires ability to soothe and relax us that is so powerful.
This feeling harks back to prehistoric times when campfires provided our ancestors safety, warmth, light, heat, the ability to cook, and a space to socialise. In today’s busy, modern world, the opportunity to reconnect with this more primal sense of satisfaction and security is unrivalled.
The ritual of building a fire
Taking time to build your own fire is a wonderful way to slow down and root yourself in the moment.
The ‘top-down lighting’ method, where logs are placed at the bottom, with the kindling and firelighter sitting on top, is a great way to get your fire started. This upside-down approach enables better airflow, meaning the kindling will catch more easily, produces less smoke and ensures a longer burning fire.
Engaging with the process and being mindful throughout will ensure you find joy in the act of creating the fire and not just in the end result.
Old and new traditions
A warming fire brings a sense of cosiness to any home and is the perfect way to enjoy quality time with loved ones, whether that be sheltering indoors under the glow of a roaring fire or roasting marshmallows in the garden with kids.
Whilst this isn’t unique, Brits take the art of celebrating around a fire to another level.
Bonfire Night, 5 November, is a cherished date in every British calendar. Originally serving as a warning to those considering committing treason after the foiled gunpowder plot of 1606 – where Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up London’s Houses of Parliament in order to kill King James I – the date has evolved into a social celebration with fireworks and sweet treats. It’s really the perfect way to socialise and enjoy time with loved ones.
In Sweden, the term ‘mys’ denotes the warm, cosy feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a roaring fire blazing in the background.
Mysig is all about taking time to slow down and relax; carving out time away from the stressful outside world to sit quietly and enjoy some moments of peace. Doing this beside a fire is ideal as it offers not only physical warmth but also the sensation of comfort and security.
A campfire is just as enjoyable in the cooler months and is made all the better with delicious food.
The smoky scents of a fire make a great addition to many sweet and savoury dishes. Childhood favourites make a particularly fun and nostalgic treat to enjoy beside a crackling fire – toasted marshmallows on sticks and fruit slices wrapped in foil with chocolate and nuts are classics for a reason.
For a more substantial meal, grill hotdogs over the flames and add to a bun with all the fixings. Roasted corn on the cob, vegetable kebabs, or halloumi skewers also make for perfect fireside foods.
Swedish torch log
If you don’t have access to a dedicated firepit or want to try something new, a Swedish torch log is a great way to enjoy an outdoor fire.
The Swedish torch log is a single log, with four to six incisions cut into the top in the shape of a star, and a larger gap in the centre of the log for the fire to be lit within. It removes the need to stack wood or feed the fire as the log burns from within.
Using a torch log is a great way to embrace Scandi fire rituals, so gather some loved ones and enjoy the simple pleasure of a cosy outdoor moment together this autumn-winter.
For more information, please visit www.contura.eu.
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Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,495, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
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For more information please visit www.contura.eu