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Hygge (hue gah) is a Danish & Norwegian word which cannot be translated into one single word in English. The word 'hygge' first appeared in written language in the early 1800s and it has been a key part of Danish culture since then. It is more than just a word though; it is a way of life for the Danes.
It can be described as a mood of feeling cosy and comfortable whilst enjoying the little pleasures in life that we almost take for granted. Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy’, ‘cosiness of the soul’, ‘taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things’ and ‘cocoa by candlelight’.
Hygge stemmed from the Danes trying to survive the boredom, cold and darkness of the long winter season. The feeling of hygge is a way for them to find cosy, lovely moments to celebrate and enjoy which will help to break up the monotony of the cold and dark days. The simple act of lighting a candle and enjoying a hot cocoa can make a huge difference to your spirit.
Hygge can be: enjoying a cup of cocoa by the fire, watching the heavy rain outside whilst being wrapped up in a blanket, enjoying a stroll in the woods with your family and returning home to a Sunday roast, a cosy evening in with friends over candlelight, great food and conversation. It can be simple. It is about creating an atmosphere and an experience. Hygge can also mean different things to different people. It requires you to slow down and become conscious of the present. It might just be something simple like a coffee with friends but think about how wonderful the situation actually is, take pleasure in it and enjoy every moment.
Incorporating hygge and creating simple daily rituals can be extremely uplifting and help you escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. It can be something simple like enjoying a morning cup of tea and enjoying the peace and quiet before you set off for work, running a bubble bath to enjoy over candlelight, applying a body lotion and slipping into a pair of freshly-washed pyjamas. Hygge is about being aware of a good moment.
What is hygge to you?