Have you heard of hygge (pronounced HOO-GA)? Do you know what it is?
We were introduced to hygge here at Twist of Pine, and we think it is a great idea. So, we wanted to share it with all of you. It might takes us multiple posts to do so though, so bear with us through this process.
I’m currently reading The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.
He describes hygge as being about atmosphere, experience, and how people feel. It is a feeling of home, being safe, being comfortable, and being warm. And, with weather like what we have been having, being warm and comfortable is a priority for me.
The word hygge may originate from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being.” However, various languages have similar words, and in general they describe feelings of coziness, warmth and togetherness.
According to Wiking, Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries in the world, and he believes this is in part because of hygge. He says that hygge is them what freedom is to the U.S. What results from this? Others want to be just like those in Denmark. They want to study hygge, learn what it means and how to create it.
Wiking listed 10 aspects that influence hygee:
- Atmosphere: Turn down the lights.
- Presence: Be here now. Turn off the phones.
- Pleasure: Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy.
- Equality: “We” over “me.” Share the tasks and the airtime.
- Gratitude: Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.
- Harmony: It’s not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.
- Comfort: Get comfy. Take a break. It’s all about relaxation.
- Truce: No drama. Let’s discuss politics another day.
- Togetherness: Build relationships and narratives. “Do you remember the time we…?”
- Shelter: This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.
First, let’s talk about atmosphere.
Hygge through light
Twist of Pine is all about atmosphere. Not only do we want the store to have a nice atmosphere, but we want to help you create the hygge-like atmosphere at home. Candles are a necessity when trying to create Hygge. They give off emotional happiness and coziness.
According to the book, Denmark burns more candles per head than anywhere in Europe. Each Dane burns around thirteen pounds of candle wax each year.
In addition to candles, lighting in general can create hygge.
“Danes select lamps carefully and place them strategically to create soothing pools of light. It is an art form, a science, and an industry.”
The goal is not to give off huge amounts of bright light, but instead to create soft sweet spots of warm luminesce. People in Denmark love their light, it is said, because from October to March they find themselves in darkness for the winter.
“Hygge is the antidote to the cold winter, the rainy days, and the duvet of darkness. So while you can have hygge all year round, it is during winter that it becomes not only a necessity by a survival strategy.”
Wiking’s hygge tip for lighting: Bring out the candles and set out several smaller lamps around the room instead of one large light in the ceiling to create small caves of light around the room.
How can Twist of Pine help? Candles are our specialty. We love our candles, and we love to have them burning.
We can also help in the lighting department. Have you noticed our specialty light bulbs? We love them for their warmth and uniqueness. They have a hygge-like quality about them.
Whether it’s our home or your home, we hope to help everyone create that cozy, comfortable, hygge environment. Stop by the store or check out online to learn more about our candles and lighting, and watch for our upcoming posts to learn more about hygge and its influence.