Pronounced “hoo-gah”, hygge is the Danish concept of cozy well-being and warmth that has taken the planet by storm over the last couple of years. Impossible to directly translate, the concept is one of complete contentment and relaxation, with Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, describing it as "a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA, ultimately what freedom is to Americans."
Where does hygge come from?
Hygge has been used in Denmark since as early as the 1800s, with other European countries having their own expressions for this feeling of coziness, too, such as the German concept of gemütlichkeit, mys in Sweden and cosagach in Scotland.
A common factor between all of these countries is their long, cold and harsh winters, which is perhaps why hygge is of paramount importance when it comes to keeping cozy and content not just physically, but mentally too.How can I enjoy hygge?
You might now be thinking that cozy cabins and snow-covered A-frames in the forest are the only place to experience hygge, but this is not the case.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a hot cup of cocoa by the fire, gazed at the stars while wrapped up warm or even spent a lazy sunday morning in bed, you have experienced hygge!
Only a few essential ingredients are necessary to create a hyggelig (hygge-like) environment, and you can even make yourself a little hyggekrog (the perfect nook to get cozy in) with just your blanket and your favorite armchair...and, of course, a few candles! (Top tip: try our Cashmere Blanket scented vessel candle for instant hygge.)What is hygge?
When Danes are asked about hygge, and as Meik Wiking reveals in his book The Little Book of Hygge, it’s apparent that there are a few essential items that go into creating the ultimate hyggelig atmosphere.Comforting food or drinks
You’ll get bonus points if they’re homemade, but what you eat or drink is essential for creating that intimate vibe famously associated with hygge. Think fresh baked cookies, a warming pecan pie or your favorite hearty casserole. Hygge isn’t about expensive restaurant food, but rather about what’s familiar and comforting to you.Blankets and throws
Whether they’re knitted, fluffy, woven or spun, a warm blanket is an unquestionable essential when it comes to living hygge. Curl up atop the window seat, recline in the rocking chair or simply surround yourself with plush pillows in bed for the ultimate, cozy experience.Making memories
Although the serene state of hygge is often associated with enjoying some alone-time, the Danes are clear that it includes spending time with loved ones, and generally doing things that make your heart happy. There are no grand gestures or expensive dinner dates here, think simple and sophisticated Scandi-living with some added, homely warmth.Candles
Last but certainly not least, candles are arguably the most important ingredient when it comes to hygge. You probably already know that there’s nothing more ambient, cozy and calming than lighting your favorite candle, which might be why Denmark is where the most candles are burned annually, with 28% of Danes lighting a candle everyday.
Candles are to hygge like water is to swimming, which is why if there’s one thing worth investing in to enjoy high-quality hygge, it’s candles. A scented vessel might be the ideal choice for creating a comforting environment for all of the senses, or you could even combine water and candlelight to create an indulgent atmosphere with floating candles.
An unquestionable essential, candles allow you to enjoy those special, magical moments, whether you choose to be alone or alongside your nearest and dearest.
Explore our range of small-batch, artisan quality candles and create your hygge here.