photo: Look de Pernille
Having originated in Denmark, the mysterious concept of hygge is slowly, but surely taking over the world. The art of cozy living seems to be engraved in the Danish nature. The good news, however, is that you don’t need to travel to Copenhagen to indulge in this irresistible lifestyle trend. Although that’s exactly where CGD’S Beth + Ellen are right now (check our Snapchat). You can practice it right on your couch.
The closest English equivalent to the Danish word hygge (pronounced hü-ghe) is coziness. Fluffy sweaters and warm comfy beds definitely fit into this concept, but there is much more to it than just the physical environment. More than anything, hygge manifests itself through atmosphere and people, nestling in the heartwarming vibes of family and friendship.
You might find it hard to capture hygge in a single English word, but as you go, you will learn to recognize its moments unmistakably. Sharing a glass of hot wine by a fireplace with a bunch of friends. Wrapping yourself up in a cushy sweater and eating freshly baked homemade pastries together with your parents. Looking at old photo albums by the candlelight together with your loved ones…The list can go on forever.
You can create hygge anywhere
Essentially, hygge is all about having relaxing, soothing time with your friends and family, often sharing a drink or some comfort food, almost certainly surrounded by candles or facing a fireplace. It is also about being kind to yourself and, consequently, to others, like, snuggling on a couch with a cup of hot chocolate and not feeling guilty about it.
It’s all about cozy moments
While older Danish generations insist that hygge can only be experienced in the company of other people, the younger crowd successfully sneaks some of this art into their “me time”. No matter what way you decide upon, make sure you have a fireplace nearby or a candle handy. The mild warm light seems so important to creating this magical atmosphere that rumor has it some hygge-lovers even manage to drive camper vans with the candles lit in the windows.
There is definitely a reason why Denmark constantly ranks among some of the happiest countries on the planet. Can hygge be this reason? I don’t know for sure, but I have a cup of chocolate sea salt tea and a gingerbread cookie waiting for me to find it out.