My son Ali reminded me the other day about this concept that I have heard about but never had a chance to write on. It is called Hygge, pronounced in Danish as Hue-Gah. As a person who loves to get warm, comfy and cozy, this whole hygee phenomenon is a perfect match for me. Read further and see if it is so for you too.
First of all, let me decipher hygge for you a little bit so that you can get better acquainted with it. Think about how you feel when you receive a big hug from someone you love, or when you have a glass of wine in front of a fireplace. When you drink hot chocolate while lying down under a blanket watching your favourite movie. All happy moments and feelings right? And hygge is anything and everything that makes you feel happy, fulfilled, warm, loved, comfortable, safe, and secure.
A little bit of history
I want to look more into the background of hygge though. The origin of this word is Norwegian and old Nordic. It means seeking refuge, protection, and shelter from the outside elements. The word came into use in the Danish language in the 16th century. A hyggeligt home is neat, tidy, and clean. It doesn’t have to be a palace or mansion – indeed it must not be too grand or pretentious in any way. But neither can it be dirty, harsh or chaotic.
When you consider cold, long and dark Scandinavian winters, just like our Canadian winters here, you understand better the need for all these warm and comforting feelings.
Feel hyggeligt with these activities
- Lighting candles,
- Turning on a Himalayan salt lamp,
- Building a fire in the fireplace,
- Having dinner with family and friends around a table,
- Drinking a hot beverage,
- Having a delicious dessert,
- Wearing a cozy sweater,
- Covering your legs with a throw or blanket,
- Reading a book,
- Having an intimate conversation with your significant other.
These are all hygge moments. And you can add many more experiences that give you the same kind of sensations to the list.
If you do a quick search, you will see that there is plenty to read and watch about hygge on the web. In one of the articles that I would recommend you to read if you want to learn more, journalist Louisa Thomsen Brits says that “Hygge is a quality of presence and attention. It’s about being not having“.
I hope you’ve found the subject as intriguing and positive as I have. And you will try and make your life more hyggeligt from this point on. Or at least recognize a hygge moment when you experience one. Have a warm and cozy weekend my friends.