• Ashley Russell

Hygge

Updated: Jan 20



What is “Higgie” or however you say it?

A danish word for the feeling we would feel in such a place as like sitting around a campfire, being with loved ones making memories, being cozy, all of that category. This is the danishes practices for living a happy life and the reason they are the second happiest country currently. It has ranked first on the list or top three in many of the recent years and now here is some insight into their happiness.

According to The Little Book of HYGGE by Meik Wiking "No recipe for hygge is complete without candles. Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, an overwhelming 85% will mention candles." I personally love candles... In Danish they call candles Levende lys. On average one single Dane burns about 13 pounds of candle wax a year. Just can't get enough of that emotional coziness can they! Well I'm feeling Hygge with my candle lit as I write this paragraph in the dark :) now I have a word for it. It doesn't stop at candles though. Lighting seems to be a theme with the hygge movement.

Lamps and lighting in general are something the Dane's are crazy about. Danes place lamps strategically to create pools of light, this is now a Danish art, science and industry. The lower temperature of the light, the more hygge. Sunsets, wood/candle flames are the hygge sweet spot. Lol according to this book the closest thing you'll get to seeing vampires getting burned by sunlight is inviting a group of Danes to dinner undera fluorescent light. This obsession with the perfect lighting stems from the lack of natural light in Denmark in the winter, It is cold and dark during the winter and fall months and when summer comes the Danes scramble to find spots of sunlight to bask in and it is said to have beautiful summers there, even though the summers are short lived.. overall they have 179 days of rainfall a year. So they had to find a way to stay ultimately cozy.

Hygge is a verb as well as an adjective. Something can be hig-lig(t) ( hygge-like); Drinking a cup of tea by a fireplace on a stormy night would be so hyggligt. This word gets thrown around a lot in Denmark as well. In fact, restaurants are categorized at Hyggelig and ranked by it as well. Apparently every Dane is obsessed with the coziness factor, even the toughest Danes will rate a bar on it's Hygge factors. We can all get the jist of this definition of Hygge now yes? Well other cultures have their own words for Hygge and Danes aren't the only ones to recognize this feeling. Canadians for example would recognize it as "hominess".

The word Hygge originated possibly from the word hug, meaning to embrace. Hygge is growing in popularity and becoming a global conversation. They're even claiming that hygge parenting leads to the world's happiest children. So besides light how do you achieve hyggelig moods and atmospheres?

1) Atmosphere (Turn down the lights)

2) Presence (Be here now. Turn off the phones.

3) Pleasure (Chocolate, Coffee, Cookies,Cakes, Candy, Etc!)

4) Equality ("We" over "me". Share the tasks and the airtime)

5) Gratitude (Take it in, this may be as good as it gets.)

6) Harmony (It's not a competition, we already like you, no need to brag about achievements)

7) Comfort (Be comfy, take a break, it's all about relaxation.

8) Truce (No drama, lets discuss politics another day.)

9) Togetherness (Build relationships and narratives..."Do you remember the time we...")

10) Shelter ( This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.)

So while you can be Hygge all by yourself, most the time it happens when you're around others. The art of hygge is also therefore the art of expanding your comfort zone to include other people.


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