Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Has anyone heard of the Danish concept of Hygge? Pronounced 'hoo-ga' (that's as close as I ever got to it anyway!) it doesn't have an exact translation, it means something like 'cosiness' although any Danish person will take great pains to tell you it is much more than that! The Timeout guide to Copenhagen says 'Hygge is anti-confrontational, friendly, easygoing and jovial. Hygge is candles, open fires, a little alcohol (though not too much, don't want to get boisterous), good conversation and home-spun fun. It is a state of being... and it can be surprisingly elusive. Like love and Heffalumps, it most often manifests itself when not actively sought.' I first discovered the idea of hygge when I visited Copenhagen several years ago, and it's stuck with me ever since.
Because Denmark is further North than the United Kingdom the winters are darker and colder creating a hygglige atmosphere seems even more important to keep the winter blues at bay. Today I wanted to go out for a walk, but the weather is so grey and cold and wet at the moment and I got a little depressed at the thought of being stuck inside. After wallowing in glumness for a bit I thought it was high time I got over that, and bring a little hygge into my life instead!
Here are my ideas...
.Light candles and install fairylights. Or turn on a few gentle lamps instead of the main light to create a more cosy atmosphere.
.Wrap up warm in coats and gloves and scarves and sit outside in the evening with loved ones. Bring sparklers and tell stories!
.Bring homemade biscuits to meet friends.
.Have a hot bubblebath with a cup of tea and a book.
.Spend an evening with a friend drinking wine and flicking through old magazines.
.I'm currently deciding if it's too early to start baking mincepies. I'm leaning towards the answer which gets me lots of yummy food!
.Sit in the window of a coffee shop with something luxurious involving whipped cream and watch the people go by.
.Spend actual time planning and preparing your evening meal. Even if you're eating alone make it a treat.
.Rearrange your bedroom. Lots of blankets and cushions are very necessary.
.Have a singsong. Raise a toast.
.Visit a proper old-fashioned pub. Preferably one without a tv screen showing the latest football match.
.Make mulled wine, or the most decadent hot chocolate humankind has ever seen!
Could you subscribe to living a hyggelige life? Do you have any more cosy ideas for me?!
.Hygge Nook and Hygge House- creating a hygglige home
.Hygge Life has a range of products for inspiration
.Visit Denmark's guide to Hygge
.Danish Culture on Wikipedia
.The Hygge Bakery in LA