Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world?
The high season of hygge is Christmas, when Danes pull out all the hygge stops. Danish winters are long and dark, and so the Danes fight the darkness with their best weapon: hygge, and the millions of candles that go with it. Ever been to Tivoli Gardens or walked the streets of Copenhagen during the festive season? Then you know what Danes can do with lighting and mulled wine (known as gløgg)! If you haven’t, you should experience it!
If you plan on visiting Denmark during the summer months, you can still experience hygge. Picnics in the park, barbeques with friends, outdoor concerts, street festivals and bike rides can all be very hygge, especially when done the Danish way.
Hygge is more than a cosy room full of candles, company and good food. Hygge is a philosophy; a way of life that has helped Danes understand the importance of simplicity, time to unwind and slowing down the pace of life. So hygge may have started here, but you can definitely start practising it at home! Create space and time to do nothing but enjoy the little things with family and friends and you're on your way to a hyggelig home!
Watch Anna from Sweden explore hygge in Copenhagen.
'Hygge' is a useful word to use when in Denmark! It sounds a lot like 'hooga', so give it a try when you're here!
'Hygge' actually comes from a Norwegian word meaning "well-being." It first appeared in Danish writing in the 18th century and has been embraced by the Danes ever since!