While it can be practised at any time of the year, the Danish art of cosiness makes perfect sense in a Canberra winter.
For Danes, hygge (pronounced “hooguh”) is designed to encourage specific feelings of comfort, contentment and togetherness. It’s all about being warm and content while retreating from the extremes of wintery weather outside.
Though English has no equivalent, in Denmark hygge is a noun, adjective and verb rolled all into one. Part of the Danish way of life, the cultural concept of being cosy and kind to yourself is quite possibly why Denmark so often tops the list of the world’s happiest countries.
The connection between hygge and happiness isn’t hard to see considering that prioritising relaxation, connecting with friends and family and pursuing a hobby are all examples of hygge.
The word itself originated from a Norwegian term for ‘wellbeing’, and first appeared in Danish writing in the 18th century. Since then, hygge has firmly embedded itself in the
Danish psyche – taking on such importance that the country last year applied for it to be added to the Unesco cultural heritage list.
In practice, hygge can range from drinking red wine by the fire to watching TV with the family, sinking into the pages of a good book or just lighting a candle in your home office.
Mindlessly scrolling through your phone? Not so hygge. Set the mood with snuggly blankets, soft cushions and a sea of flickering candles. For extra hygge points, light a fire, sip on some hot chocolate or mulled wine and cosy up with your nearest and dearest.
Bench from Country Road, Salt&Pepper Planter from Myer, Morgan & Finch Candles from Bed Bath N’ Table, Slippers from top3 by design, Morgan & Finch Throw from Bed Bath N’ Table, Cushion from Country Road, Sheridan Cushion from David Jones, House & Home Cushion from Big W, Mug and Egg Cup from Le Creuset, Teaspoon from Target, Muuto Tray from top3 by design, Phillips Headphones from Big W, Jason Grant Ottoman from top3 by design. Placemat from Wheel&Barrow, Tom Ford Candle from David Jones, Ester + Erik Candles from top3 by design.