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B&T Blogs: Most depressing day of the year? 'Hygge' away the Winter blues...
You may not yet have heard of the term Hygge - but you can guarantee by the time Winter is out you will have! There have already been countless articles and top-selling lifestyle books on the topic on what looks to be this season's trend.
So what exactly is it all about? The definition is almost as impossible to translate into English as it is to pronounce the word itself. Hygge - pronounced 'Hue-gah' as if one needs to clear the throat defies literal translation, is basically the Danish art of living well by creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the simple things in life with good people. Candles, open fires, delicious comforting foods, blankets are all conducive to this feeling of cosy well being. Whilst the concept does exist in other cultures, albeit under a range of different names, the great Danes who are consistently voted among the 'happiest culture in the world' in spite of having long dark winters, prioritise it.
Hygge however is more than simply pulling on some warm socks and drinking hot tea illuminated by flickering candles - One commentator noted that it is more a paying attention of what makes us feel content and finding the pleasure and beauty in the ordinary.
Further, Hygge is not just for Christmas - or artic conditions - it is possible to embrace the concept of Hygge in sunnier climes. A BBQ on the beach with good friends, a beautifully prepared cocktail listening to the waves and birdsong or appreciating the feeling of warm sand between the toes can also be described as Hygge.
Morely College, London are running courses which convey Hygge as well as teaching the language. Also for further on the subject see the bestselling book, 'The year of living Danishly; uncovering the secrets of the worlds happiest country' by Helen Russell.