This word seems to be everywhere at the moment, it caught my attention and spiked my curiosity. Hygge is very intriguing to me, as there is no corresponding word in the English language and to the delight of my partner (not so much), it is now something I am trying to incorporate into our everyday lives.
So how do I describe a word that has no English alternative? Hygge, from my understanding, is a feeling of comfort, peace, safety and homeliness but, I fear, that description still does not quite cover it. So I will try and explain it in a different way; I have read that the most hygge time of year is Christmas, so imagine that wonderful warm cosy feeling you have during the festive time, that is how I understand it.
I must admit that on reading up on the meaning of the word, I find that it is something that a lot of us do to a certain degree, but I think the Danes have got it spot on! The word is embedded into their culture and is used on a daily basis to describe activities, places, items and well, just about everything. It has been linked to happiness and the Danes strongly believe that hygge may be the reason behind why they are considered to be one of the happiest societies in the world.
So are you thinking this is just another fad word or how is this word related to my everyday Wiccan path? As a Pagan religion, my beliefs are rooted in one of the oldest religions in the world, and a lot of what I have learnt has been passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. To me, Wicca is a reflection of the world and a way to celebrate the seasons as they change, or the knowledge that we use day to day to help us with our lives. Hygge origins can be traced back throughout history, and are grounded in people and nature. A word that holds at its heart, family, love and warmth, should be something not to be embraced regardless of your beliefs. And for a country that spends most of its time in darkness, it is a way to bring a little magic and piece into your everyday life. Below I have listed a few ideas that I have picked up on, to enjoy a more peaceful and Hygge life:
Candles- One of the main things that seem to be mentioned is the use of candles, they are very important to create that warm cosy hygge feeling in your home. Candles are used a lot in Wiccan ceremonies, but these are just to create that magical cosy feeling at home. A roaring fire is also up there on top of the list, unfortunately, I do not have one currently but it is a must for when I hopefully move one day.
A hot drink- Curling up somewhere warm with a hot cup of coffee, blankets and a book seems to be totally hyggelit. Now I am English, I do like coffee however I rarely drink it and to keep up with the English stereotype, I prefer a nice cup of tea. Or, I shan’t lie, a glass of wine (but apparently this is also acceptable).
Good food- Slow cooked, tasty food also seems to be very hygge, especially if it has to be prepared with all those who are going to eat it. I loved this idea because often, in my world, it is just the one person who cooks for the household. But getting all those involved in the cooking of the meal makes it all the more special when you eat it.
Sweet things- Again this goes down well with me, cake, chocolate and sweets are also link to hygge. I am a big cake lover and thoroughly enjoy baking (and eating) them.
Home design- Home decoration seems to be a very important part of Danish culture, and a lot of thought and time is put into their design. For example rather than saving up their money for the latest gadget or handbag, they will invest in a piece of furniture for the home. As Denmark sees very little of the sun, a lot of time is spent indoors so creating a wonderful environment is of the utmost importance.
Friends and Family- Finally I will those closest to you, spending time with them is incredible hygge. I have read that rather than going out for dinner, or for a night out, the Danes prefer to socialise at home with their nearest and dearest. Often including all the things I have mentioned above (and a lot more) to create the perfect hyggelit evening.
So there are a few ideas of how to incorporate hygge into your lifestyle. I think it is wonderful and it is how you can give a little bit of magic to those around you in every day.