Candles. Hugs. Warm blankets and a mug of hot chocolate while a thunderstorm rages outside. These are just some of the things that are hygge (pronounced “HOO-gah”), the Danish word for cosy.
The lifestyle buzzword has increased 285% in recent Pinterest searches, and is so big in Britain that the Collins Dictionary called it one of the top 10 words of 2016.
With a bunch of hygge-themed books about to hit the shelves and the hygge aesthetic dominating decor and home trends, you’re bound to find some hygge in your future. Keep reading to see what hygge looks like.
Hygge (pronounced 'HOO-gah') has no real English translation, but essentially describes the feeling you get when you're comfortable.
Examples of things that are hygge are candles, snuggling under a blanket, and drinking hot coffee from a mug on a cool morning.
Hygge is so omnipresent in Denmark that the Danes even use it in everyday language: 'Hyg dig!' or 'have hygge!' is a popular way to say goodbye.
There are almost 1.7 million hashtags for hygge on Instagram. The photos range from knitting to comfy couches.
Searches for the trend also grew by 285% on Pinterest. The site is filled with tips on how to live the hygge lifestyle.
The concept of hygge is very nostalgic: candlelight, anti-technology, and comforting traditions are all 'hyggelig.'
The Guardian's Charlotte Higgins describes it as 'a feeling of calm togetherness and the enjoyment of simple pleasures, perhaps illuminated by the gentle flicker of candlelight.'
'Danes see hygge as a part of our culture,' Meik Wiking, the founder of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Institute, told The New York Times. 'The same way you see freedom as inherently American.'
Conformity and comfort are the trademarks of hygge. If someone makes you uncomfortable or brings up a difficult conversation, they could be accused of 'spoiling the hygge.'
People who speak out or are opinionated may also be ruining the hygge. This idea can lead to conformist attitudes.
'The Little Book of Hygge,' became a bestseller in Britain and is now available in the United States.
'Where Americans see a fire hazard, the Danes see an antidepressant,' New York Times reporter Penelope Green writes. 'The Danish word for spoilsport, Mr. Wiking notes, is lyseslukker, 'which literally means, one who puts out the candles.''
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