The winter nights are drawing in on a world which seems to get busier and more hectic every day and the need to sit back, relax and enjoy the small things in life has never been more prevalent. With stress levels rising in many countries across the globe, the Danes have established themselves as lovers of calm and in turn, consistently top the polls as the happiest people on earth along with many other Scandinavian countries. It is frequently argued that this is all down to hygge. The concept of hygge is one which graces every walk of Scandinavian people’s lives, and news of this lifestyle has been spreading quickly for the last few years, crossing international borders to spread warmth wherever the idea touches.
Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’, the word is becoming increasingly recognisable and was originally a Norwegian term for wellbeing. Developed into a concept and way of living by the Danish in the 18th century when it first appeared in writings of the time, the country hasn’t looked back since. Applicable to any time and space, hygge traverses both winter and summer but the idea really comes alive in the harsh and bracing cold season Scandinavia is renowned for. These bleak winters demonstrate the power of hygge even further, as even in the depths of the country’s coldest months when there is very little daylight, Denmark’s inhabitants remain the world’s happiest people.