Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a moment or a feeling, whether you’re alone or with people, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as charming, cosy or special.
Hygge doesn’t require adopting a new lifestyle or buying anything new, it simply requires being present and understanding a moment that feels so cosy, charming and special that it just needs to be named. Hygge is simply put as being aware of a good moment no matter how special or simple the moment may be.
In essence, hygge means creating a warm and happy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with the good people you love. A lit candle on a dark winter’s night is hygge, a cup of coffee with close friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting with the people you love and discussing all the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge is the secret to why the Danes are repeatedly found to be some of the happiest people in the world.
Hygge is referred as by some people as an “art of creating intimacy”, while there’s no single English word to describe hygge, several words can be used together to describe the idea of hygge such as happiness, comfort, cosiness, familiarity, kinship and simplicity.
The high season of hygge for the Danes is winter, and of course, for them that means Christmas. But that doesn’t mean that we, in Australia cannot find the hygge in our winter. Danish winters are long and dark, so the Danes fight the darkness and the cold with their best weapon: hygge, and the millions of candles and gatherings that go with it.
Danes created hygge because they were trying to survive the boredom, dark, cold and sameness of the winter months in Denmark and the feeling of hygge was a way for them to find moments to celebrate or acknowledge and help the Danes understand the importance of simplicity. With so many dark, cold days the simple act of a cup of coffee with a friend or a home cooked dinner with your family can make a massive difference to one’s spirit.
By turning effortless everyday actions into rituals, the Danes see even the simplest parts of life as an art form. Hygge is about recognising and acknowledging an ordinary act, feeling or moment as extraordinary.
And after Winter, of course, its Spring Selling Season