Hygge | 2016 Word of the Year

Discovering is 'Hygge'

Meet the official word of 2016 — HYGGE.

Hygge is a Danish word and a pretty good one at that.  After a little research I found that there isn’t an equivalent English word for ‘hygge’ which, once you find out what it means, makes a lot of sense!  From what I found, ‘hygge’ is similar to words such as “coziness” or “intimateness.”  To me, ‘hygge’ is a feeling or sense of calm and toasty enjoyment in any situation.

2016 gave English speakers “hygge” and 2015 gave me my first Danish friend, Sofie.  I asked Sofie her take on ‘hygge’ and this is what she said.

“Hygge is when you’re having a really great time. It’s a period of time where you are surrounded by someone or something you love or really like. It’s a word to describe something chill but it’s very different from cozy.  It’s a special kind of feeling, like the atmosphere of Christmas. Keywords for a hyggelig night are presence and contemplation.  A party can be hyggelig too, it’s more laid back.  But hygge doesn’t have to be with other people.  You can very much hygge in your own presence.  And food always help to spice up the hygge!”

I also asked about how hygge was incorporated into her life as a child and she responded, “Grown up when my six-year-old cousin wanted to have candy and watch a movie in the evening he would ask his parents if he could get something hyggeligt.”  In Denmark, hygge begins in childhood, how wonderful!

I have incorporated hygge into my life by reducing the size of my wardrobe, which makes my morning getting dressed less complicated, my laundry loads smaller, and my home more tidy.  These things give me peace and I feel happy inviting friends over to visit my little flat.  Also, I take more time for tea & reading books.  Both things help me slow down and enjoy the comfort of the day a little more.  The less I rush around the more hygge I feel!

How do you ‘hygge?’  I would love to know your ideas.  Please share in the comment box below!

-HH

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