Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word that defines a ‘mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment’. The word hygge first appeared in Danish writing in the 19th century and has since evolved into the cultural idea known in Denmark and Norway today: it has exactly the same meaning both in Norwegian and in Danish, and is a widely used in both Norway and Denmark, but the emphasis on “hygge” as an important part of cultural identity is a recent Danish phenomenon, dating to the late 20th century; in Norway “hygge” is just a word. In both Danish and Norwegian hygge refers to a form of everyday togetherness, and a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow. The Collins English Dictionary defines it as “a concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing”. Winter and autumn can be thought to be the sole seasons of hygge due to traditions such as pie, yuletide, sweaters, hot cocoa, soup, and apple cider, however moments of hygge happen throughout the year, including summer: hot-weather outdoor activities considered hygge include picnics, barbecues, concerts, street fairs and cycling. The Norwegian adjective ‘koselig’ is used to describe a feeling of warmth, intimacy and getting together in an agreeable environment, whereas the Swedish adjective ‘mysig’ (and its associated noun ‘mys’) describes a pleasant and warm atmosphere of togetherness in a pleasant setting.
Culture, Denmark, Jutland, Norway, Scandinavia, Society