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Hygge – it’s a term that you may have seen floating around the Internet recently alongside images of fuzzy socks, lit candles and steaming mugs of hot cocoa. But what does it mean?
The term originates from the Norwegian word for “wellbeing,” and while some refer to it as “the art of creating intimacy” or being “consciously cozy,” its meaning can’t be fully expressed in words.
I do know, however, that “hygge” is woven into the fabric of the Danish lifestyle – some say ‘hygge’ means to the Danes what ‘freedom’ means to Americans. So this week, I wanted to add some Norwegian hygge to my life in NYC.
I ordered The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking and used it as a guide for the week. With Wiking’s help, I broke hygge into 5 major pillars: atmosphere, clothing, food, activities & company.
Did you know that burning candles is a staple in Denmark? Most Danes will tell you they typically burn more than five candles at once, and not only in the home – also in offices, coffee shops, and even at school. Fire is perhaps the most hygge-like element a home can have.
From turning my apartment into a candle-lit wonderland (and a complete fire-hazard) to baking homemade cinnamon buns and spending some much-needed time with my family and friends, this week opened my eyes to how a New Yorker can add a little Danish delight to her everyday life.