Hygge is a concept from Denmark that is hard to explain and harder to pronounce! Last year Oxford Dictionaries shortlisted the word Hygge for word of the year, so I think we are all going to be hearing about it very soon. Hygge – “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.” I can’t take credit for finding this new trend, my Glenn has been talking about for a few months and we have put it into practice at home. You can dip your feet in as much as you want with Hygge, it can be just lighting a nice candle or getting all cosy with comfy clothes. But it also extends to food and friends if you go full hog. In essence Hygge means to create a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. There is nothing more Hygge than sitting around a dinner table with friends or family having all the chats. I wonder if Hygge is the reason why the Danes are the happiest people on the planet?
In Denmark the Hygge high season is Christmas, the Danish winter is long and dark so to combat this the Danes use millions of candles to create a beautiful cosy mood. Apparently walking the streets of Copenhagen in December is magical and we all should try and visit during the festive season. But Hygge can be seen in all seasons, summer barbecues with friends, outdoor theatre, street festivals and even a walk up the Dublin mountains would all considered very Hygge.
Hygge is more than a cosy room full of candles, it’s a philosophy. It is a way of life that to me sounds lovely. It’s not like Feng Shui when we all started moving furniture around our houses and putting mirrors in the maddest places to improve the flow of energy. This is really a state of mind where you choose to have your friends and family with you for nice things, not just the big nights out. It’s having you home cosy and feeling warm, with low level lighting (always a good idea as harsh lighting revels too much), a few candles lighting and having a throw on the couch in case you feel a chill. It all sounds just lovely and I really want to embrace it. You don’t need to buy anything special, maybe some 20 watt bulbs to replace the 100w one that are in the lamps. But aside from that it’s an easy thing to follow and will be very inexpensive.
You know thinking about it more, this is what we should always be doing, spending time with the people we love in an environment that everyone likes, if that’s your sitting room with a scented candle burning and a bottle or two of wine breathing or if it is taking the dogs to Sandymount for a run. I am more than happy to get my Hygge on!!