If you haven’t heard about the next big thing to be coming out of Denmark, which planet have you been inhabiting lately ? Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) doesn’t have a literal translation from Danish, but captures a state of contentment which is all about enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness. Contentment. Good feelings. A warm glow. And all this comes from the land where people are the most contented inhabitants on planet Earth – according to the folk who survey this sort of stuff. The World Happiness index ranked the people of Denmark as number 1, with the UK languishing in 23rd. So, perhaps taking a leaf out of the Danes book and creating our own version of Hygge can help us climb the happiness ladder.
Of course, one of the reasons we are into Hygge is that candles play a big part in creating an atmosphere of relaxation and well-being. And we don’t just mean one or two candles. The Danes will typically follow a leisurely family meal or supper with an extended chill out period stretched out in front of an open fire with only candlelight providing the illumination. So lots of natural beeswax candles would be ideal, with perhaps the odd scented candle to add to the relaxed atmosphere. When you consider that the next happiest people are the Swiss, the Norweigians and Icelanders, (all big fans of candlelight), then perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye. And guess what? We have lots of lovely candles!
And it’s not all about hibernating for Winter, Hygge can be getting outside with your family, spending more time with friends, (yes less of that FB, Twitter, Instagram), more face to face time. In her new book ‘How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living’, London-based Norwegian cook and writer Signe Johansen explores the culture of Hygge and offers suggestions on how you can adopt the Nordic way of living.
Article by J. Jennings