Snow or shine, icy Kuvia comethBy Josh Schonwald
The University is in the midst of its inimitable celebration of the Chicago winter.
Snow or shine, frostbite-frigid or unseasonably mild, Kuviasungnerk, the University’s annual, weeklong winter festival, has arrived.
While this year’s activities were selected not to depend on snow—there is no snowman building, snow dancing or snow football—this year’s Kuviasungnerk is, as anyone who has walked through Hutchinson Courtyard already knows, depending heavily on ice. “We wanted to bring back this tradition,” said fourth-year Jenson Chin, one of the event’s organizers.
Three ice sculptures, all designed by Chicago-based professional ice sculptors, grace the Hutchinson Courtyard and will remain until well after Kuviasungnerk’s conclusion.
This year’s event also features many of the traditional activities, such as kangeiko. Each weekday morning this week, more than 100 students and faculty and staff members have awakened before dawn to take part in kangeiko (calisthenics) in the Henry Crown Field House.
Following the kangeiko activity, which starts at 6 a.m. and takes about 15 minutes, participants have been engaging in a wide range of exercises and arts aimed at curing the winter blues.
It started on Monday with aikido and ultimate Frisbee, followed on Tuesday with karate, fencing and cheerleading. Wednesday morning was filled with lessons on judo, hip-hop dancing and the Brazilian martial art capoeira. This morning, it was back to martial arts and dancing with Tae Kwon Do and modern dance.
Tomorrow morning will feature the culminating event for the early risers: a walk from the Henry Crown Field House to Promontory Point for kangeiko and a yoga ritual known as the “salute to the sun.”
As is traditional, the University community celebrates Kuviasungnerk activities throughout each day. Monday night featured a barbecue in Hutchinson Courtyard, and tonight, the ice sculptures there will be formally acknowledged.
Kuviasungnerk activities conclude Friday and will feature at 3 p.m. the annual polar bear run, where more than 100 scantily clad or unclad students will dash across the Main Quadrangle.
At 8 p.m. students will gather at the Midway Plaisance skating rink for a night of ice-skating.