They say Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the whole wide world. Why? Because they know their hygge. Hyg-what? Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’, this word is conquering the world. It’s the big new wellness trend and let’s say, it translates roughly to cosiness.
Scandinavian influence has flourished in every element of our lives these days, especially in terms of interior and minimalist fashion. Ranging from art, architecture and furniture. It’s everywhere and very populair. The latest Scandinavian trend addition is nothing materialistic, but, in fact, a way of life.
The importance of simplicity
Explaining what hygge exactly is, is quite a challenge. Meik Wiking from the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen recently wrote a book about this phenomenon. He spent years studying the magic of Danish life. According to him, hygge called everything from the art of creating intimacy, cosiness of the soul, and the absence of annoyance to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. Hygge helped Danes understand the importance of simplicity. To make time to unwind and enjoy life as it is.
In his book, Meik Wiking states that there are several similarities between hygge and the Dutch word gezelligheid (which is something cosy, warm, nice or good company). But they’re not completely alike: as gezelligheid is more social than hygge.
– About comfort
– About warmth
– About light
– About feeling safe
– About feeling relaxed
– About taste (it’s familiair, it’s comforting)
– About the sound of crackles of burning wood
– About a casual atmosphere
So, how do we hygge?
Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. It the warm glow of candlelight. It’s your friends and family. It’s Christmas. Nothing is more hygge than sitting around the table with your loved ones, enjoying a great meal, discussing the big and smalles things in life. And although the high season of hygge is right now, as Christmas is on it’s way, you can celebrate hygge during every season. Like during summer, with picknicks in the park, music festivals and sunny city strolls.
You can hygge alone, just as you can with others. Treat yourself to some hygge tonight by reading your favorite book, enjoying the best quality chocolate you can possibly find, wear your favorite warm woollen socks and add some honey in your tea to make it more hyggelig.