Danish winters are a lot like Canadian winters. They are nice at first but then they are just too cold, too dark, and too long. Before the start of the winter season, the Danes had to prepare by gathering enough food and wood to last over the dark cold months. Hygge was a way of coming together with your neighbours and helping out where it was needed. Staying warm and happy together.
What is Hygge?
The word hygge is Danish, but it applies really to all of Scandinavia. In Norway, for example, they say hygilig, or kos. Kos or koselig describes all the things Norwegians do to make things cozy. Kos can be anything from enjoying your favorite cup of tea and cookies, or spending your day doing the things you enjoy the most with the people you enjoy the most. The pursuit of happiness. Totally hygge. Very hygilig.
The Dutch say gezelligheid, the Germans say gemütlichkeit, while the Swedish say mysig. Generally they all describe a feeling or mood of warmth and togetherness in cozy pleasant surroundings.
How do you achieve Hygge?
A good start might be to think of all the things that comfort you and bring warmth and coziness into your life. Warm soft blankets, cozy socks, a lit fire, some burning candles can help create that cozy environment. Anything that brings hygge, makes you feel warm contented and free from stress.
Christmas is the best time for Hygge
It’s easy to get the hygge feeling going during the Christmas season. This is the best time for gatherings with good food and good times with friends and family and even your co-workers. Everyone seems to burn more candles though the Fire Safety Council can’t stop warning us about the dangers of leaving open flames unattended, so don’t do that. Many women go into baking hyperdrive and smells of spices and butter cookies fill the air. If you know someone you are lucky and you may be the recipient of some home baking.
But Christmas comes only once a year, and hygge times can go on and on if we want it too.