Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is another buzzword you might have been hearing lately! What is it? Hygge is a Danish word that has no exact English translation, but is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being” by the Oxford dictionary. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
There are similar terms in other languages as well, such as lagom in Swedish which refers to a happier, slower and more balanced lifestyle, and gezellig in Dutch which refers to a cozy, convivial, or pleasant atmosphere. Although these other terms are popular in their respective cultures, hygge is often regarded as a hallmark of Danish culture that is practised by most Danes.
So how does one achieve hygge? Hygge is about focusing on small things that really matter, such as enjoying time spent with friends and family and appreciating the good things in life. It doesn’t mean anything fancy or expensive, just slowing down and focusing on ordinary joys. These joys could be as simple as reading a good book while wearing your favourite pair of cozy socks, or spending an evening playing board games with friends. Personally, I like to refer to hygge as “the art of coziness.”
Some typical elements of hygge include candles (preferably lots of them!), cozy blankets, comfy clothes, good food, and good company such as friends, family, or a special loved one. But you can definitely “hygge” alone as well, or with your favourite furry friend!
Hygge often involves indulging in warm comfort foods and hot drinks. Some foods that are often associated with “hygge time” include warm soups and stews as well as freshly baked cinnamon rolls and pastries. Drinks may include hot mulled wine or hot cocoa.
Some people think hygge is so popular because it helps Danes get through the long, dark winters that are typical in Denmark. It brings a feeling of comfort and cheerfulness to what might be considered a pretty dreary time of year. And who doesn’t want that? If you tend to find the winter long and bleak, a bit of hygge might be just what you need! Light some candles, put the fire on, and cozy up with a warm treat!
By Kate at FWIO