Before this year I’d never really heard of Hygge (Hu-guh), or to be “hyggelig”. It first entered my life during a girly weekend where I meet up with two of my best friends for the first time after Christmas to exchange gifts. One of the gifts that good given was ‘The little book of Hygge’, The Danish way to live well. I was intrigued what it was all about.
Later that evening when the day had long gone and it was dark and cold as it is typically in January, we were curled up on the sofa with fluffy blankets and copious amounts of green tea, the table lamp radiating a warm, soft glow and the many candles I lit were flickering against their background. The words “It’s very Hygge in here” appeared from the silence. Hygge? What was this I wondered again, what did she mean? Apparently, it means to be cosy and have a warm happy feeling from within that you get from good surroundings, a nice ambiance and with the company you are in. ‘cosiness of the soul’. It was definitely that. The word Hygge originates from the Norwegian word meaning ‘well-being’.
There is a lot more to Hygge than just blankets and tea, but you get the idea. A good example of Hygge is when it’s raining outside and you are inside all warm and snug just watching the rain fall knowing you are all warm and dry. A log cabin with a wood fire is very Hygge, it’s cosy and warm and the flames give off the perfect amount of light.
I decided to buy the book myself to get more of an idea. I read the book on a train journey, half to my destination, and the other half on the way home. I could not put the book down. I could relate to so many parts of the book. 85% of Danes associate burning candles with Hygge. They burn them at work, at school, as well as at home. If you’ve kept up with most of my previous posts, then you’ll know I am obsessed with candles, I burn them every day. If I’m just at home I’ll have some lit. You’d never catch me sitting down relaxing of an evening without a candle burning. It doesn’t even have to be a scented one, just the light of the flame makes me smile from within. Something so warming about a glow from a candle. I just didn’t know this feeling from burning a candle had an actual name!
To create more Hygge I also love big scatter cushions, fairy lights, and chunky blankets. Hygge is about a feeling, so for me, that’s how I create it. I even have a little corner on my sofa in my living room where I feel most snug. I always usher anyone away who tries to take that spot. If I sit anywhere else I just don’t get the same cosiness as I do in that particular area.
Hygge doesn’t have to be just at home thought. If I go to a coffee shop and there is a nice sofa where you can sit back and maybe kick off your shoes, chat with a friend over a nice hot drink in a warm ambiance, that’s Hygge as well. Making comfort food is Hygge; In the Winter having a nice hearty warming stew and chunky homemade bread or a cake baking and having the smell fill your home, then of course eating it.
Danes are said to be some of the happiest people in Europe, hard to believe when their climate is so bleak. I’ve never been a fan of the cold dreary weather we have in the UK, but after reading this book, I’ve learnt ways of overcoming it through creating Hygge and it has definitely helped. If you haven’t read this book I would highly recommend it. It will even look great on your coffee table!
Now, who’s for a hot chocolate??
Let me know how you create Hygge in your home?
I got my copy from Book Depository. Fancy a read? Shop HERE