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The Danish concept of hygge

Denmark

Hygge is a Danish word that’s hard to translate since it’s more of a concept than just a word. But what exactly us hygge?

The word

It’s a danish word that’s pronounced “hoo-gah” and it became part of the English dictionary in 2016.

Social or solo

I mostly use the word hygge when I’m spending time with family or friends but you can also have a hyggeligt moment on your own.

Food and drinks

Food and drinks are core elements in hygge – it can be a cup of tea on the sofa with a good book, a family dinner or eating cake with your partner. A restaurant can be hyggelig but it’s always better at someone’s house.

Fire and flowers

An easy way to add hygge to a place is to light some candles and buy flowers – it just makes every a bit nicer to stay in. If you are outside build a fire and watch it burn for hours while you talk with each other- if you add a cold beer and roasted marshmallows it’s spot on hygge.

It’s not because every Dane is an arsonist but we live in the north where the winter is long, cold and dark so we enjoy all kinds of light.

Outside

If you are in Denmark during spring you will see how the locals don’t need much more than 10 degrees to eat outside and when then first day of warm sunlight comes in late April or May everyone goes outside. The lakes in Copenhagen will be crowded with people walking, eating pizza in the grass, having a party at the bridge or just sitting on a bench with their face towards the sun.

Feelings

Most of all hygge is a feeling of wellbeing, cosiness and having a good time. We use hygge to refuel after a long day, to find comfort in a long dark winter and to celebrate the long bright nights during summer.

Do you want to know more?

You can read more about hygge in my post about our family trip to Søndervig or in some of the books about hygge.

Follow me on Instagram for more pictures and videos of hygge

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