Hygge: More than a Word, a Feeling

Art and Culture

29/09/2017

This might be the first time you see it. Or not. Perhaps it sounds familiar, but doesn't really mean anything to you. It's a peculiar word, difficult to pronounce, even spell. This isn't the mile-long name of an Icelandic volcano or a brand of diapers. No. We're talking about hygge. A Danish word whose pronunciation varies depending on whom you ask. Somewhere between “hoo-guh” and “hue-guh.” Anyway, that's not what matters. It's a feeling more than a word.

Denmark is the happiest country in the world according to a yearly report the UN has put out since 2012. Many believe that the secret to Danish happiness isn't just its Scandinavian welfare system, but hygge, a concept that doesn't translate easily and has been written about a lot lately.

So what does the word mean? Theories abound, all of them equally valid. “The art of creating intimacy,” “soul comfort,” “the absence of discomfort,” “the pleasure of being surrounded by cozy things” or even “a cup of hot chocolate by candlelight.”

As you can see, hygge is more about atmosphere and experience than a specific thing. It means feeling comfortable, relaxed, surrounded by people you love. The idea of feeling safe, opening up, like a leisurely chat over a glass of wine, for example. Hygge and wine (except for the hot chocolate) go hand in hand. Candles are absolutely essential to a hygge moment. It is almost an unwritten rule for the Danes. Candles, wine, rest, relaxation, conversation, comfort, home... Are you getting an idea of what hygge is all about? ;)

Ultimately, hygge is an adjective to describe our favorite moments. Dinner with friends, a family aperitif, watching a movie on your sofa while it rains outside, slipping on your favorite sweater in winter, curling up with a good book or deciding to open a bottle of wine. All those small things that make us truly happy. Small everyday pleasures that often go unnoticed, but are incredibly important.

Here's our example of hygge, let's see what you think... An afternoon in the Penedès wine region. The sun is setting behind the vineyards. The weather is mild, neither hot nor cold. The incomparable landscape, a glass of wine beckons. Do you like our hygge moment? If so, come visit us! :)

If you want to explore the concept of hygge further, we recommend Meik Wiking's The Little Book of Hygge.

Categorías: Art and Culture