By: Maureen Doolan, Canada
Recently, you may have noticed the word "hygge". We see this word everywhere, online, in lifestyle magazines, and even home décor blogs, but what does it mean? Let's get into it below!
What is Hygge?
Hygge pronounced "hoo-ga" is a Danish concept which cannot be translated into a single word, as it's an idea focused around a feeling of cozy-contentment and well-being. If you've ever snuggled up after a blanket with a hot chocolate watching the snow fall outside your window, then you've already experienced hygge without even knowing it!
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of The Little Book of Hygge, explains that hygge is an essential part of Danish culture and "a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA."
The history of Hygge
Hygge first appeared in written text over 200 years ago and has been a part of Danish culture ever since. Deriving from the Norwegian word for well-being, Hygge is used as both a noun and an adjective in Denmark, much like the German concept of gemütlichkeit and the Dutch idea of gezelligheid.
Hygge promotes a warm and cozy lifestyle carefully balanced between alone-time and quality time spent with family and friends. You can also add Hygge to other words to describe things, such as hyggelig (Hygge-like) and hyggekrog (a cozy nook for reading, etc.).
How to live a Hygge lifestyle
If you want to make your home hyggelig, then the first thing a Danish person would tell you to add is candles. According to Meik Wiking, Danes burn approximately 13 pounds of candle wax a year, more than any other country in the world! Bonus points if you have a beautifully-decorated fireplace you can curl up to for a cozy night in.
Next on the Hygge list are throw blankets, sweaters, and socks! Anything thick, warm, or knitted will do to keep you warm and toasty. Lastly, where would we be without snacks? No cozy weekend or evening in is complete without a warm cup of coffee or cocoa and a baked treat. So, this weekend why not break out your favorite recipe book and try your hand at some home baking?
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