In ode to my paternal Danish grandmother a strong woman and proud of her Nordic traditions I have added this category to celebrate Hygge. If you already know the word and concept than fab, if not Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a moment or feelings such as a cosy sense of being, thus coziness, contentment, wellbeing, happiness and/or being comfortable. Pronounced somewhere between ‘hoo-ga’ and ‘hue-gah’ but not as the long sounding hoo-gaaah as some say. And no you do not have to be Danish to say it right nor to enjoy it.
And when you think of those very long, cold and dark winter months is it any wonder that the Danes needed something uplifting to get them through. So you are possibly already doing many hygge things, on your own or in the company of loved ones, family and friends, this could even mean your beloved familiar. Snuggling with a cuddly blanket or wearing bright hand knitted thick socks, a hat and scarf while the rain pours outside or snow falls, a hot chocolate or brew would be well suited along with the roar of a fire and let’s not forget the marshmallows. The glow of candlelight as you sit curled up with a good book, or candlelit suppers, sharing homemade food and tales around the fire laughing and joking with loved ones, a day out on the slopes or nature and coming home and relaxing in a bubbly bath then tucking into a hot meal, yes all of these things are hygge. This would be having a hyggelig time. It is all about creating a cosy and comfortable atmosphere and of finding joy and happiness even in the smallest things.
And hygge doesn’t just have to be in winter, it is anytime all year round, indoors or outside in nature, the crispness and beauty of an autumn day or evening as you take a stroll outdoors, the sound of birdsong in the morning and at dusk, casting a circle and watching the moon as she shines in our skies and the sun as he rises and sets. Spring with its newborns and tiny flower buds on the trees and summer with beach walks, oceans scents and outdoor meals and picnics shared with those whom you enjoy their company.
Did you know that Denmark is considered to be the happiest country in the world and they even have an institute of happiness? That says a lot. So embrace the way of the Danes and hygge on.