Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Hygge" - A fundamental activity of Danish culture, Hygge cannot be translated using a single word. Rather,think "warm and cozy".

I have been reading "The Year of Living Danishly" by Helen Russell. Helen moved from England to rural Denmark when her husband, Mr. Lego, accepted a position with Legos at their corporate headquarters. She writes about all aspects of Danish life in a quest to discover why Danes are so notoriously happy and satisfied.

I was very close to the end of the book, but in my travels over these last few weeks, I have lost it! It's not like I will not find out how the story ends, but I know that there will be some missing pieces about life in Denmark. At some point I will check the book out from the library, but while I am still in the snowy north, I want to share with you the part of the book that drew me to it in the first place - Hygge. 

Hygge - (pronounced "heurgha") is:

1. The Danish concept of creating warmth, connection, and well-being.
2. Presence. committing spirit, pleasure, and warmth to ordinary rituals and gestures that comfort and make us feel rooted and generous.
3. The appreciative method of giving and receiving that occurs while around the table for a shared meal, sheltered from the rain at the bus stop, or alone in bed with a hot water bottle and a good book.

These are just a few of the loose definitions of hygge; a means of finding comfortable warmth in the long, dark, frigid winter days and nights in Denmark. It is an active pursuit, and one that I think that I have been practicing all along!

I have always loved to sit by the fire while a storm ragged outside. With knitting in hand, music or an audio book playing in the background, and a glass of wine nearby - this is heaven on earth to me. Yes - the beach is calling, but I am going to enjoy my last few days of the chilly north, and get my hygge on!

For further reading on the subject - try the links below. They will have you feeling cozy all over!


  1. I smiled when I saw your post today because I've been thinking about Hygge recently. :-) My family is from Denmark, and this word so beautifully captures their hearts. :-)

  2. I never heard about "Hygge" but I definitely get the meaning -it's like our "gemütlich", but it sounds much cuter :) Thank you for the book tip!

  3. I have not heard of this book, I will check it out!! Clarice