VarieTEA is feeling ‘Hygge’
Hygge. Just what is this latest craze that’s hit our bookshops, lifestyle magazines and social media feeds?
Hygge by definition is ‘the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness. Contentment. Good feelings. A warm glow.’
Trying to define hygge is simply that, trying to give meaning to a word, which in essence, can’t be defined at all. Hygge is a feeling, an emotion, a sentiment.
You know that exquisite moment? The log fire is burning, the weather is blowing a hooley outside and you’re sat in your favourite chair with your favourite brew and the dog is curled up next to you in his favourite spot,
This is my definition of hygge anyway, and it is probably why I’m classed as an ‘Autumn baby’. With my love of cosy layers, Earl Grey tea and face battering walks along the beach with friends. I bet even now you’re imagining your own perfect hygge moment. Welcome to the movement.
The truth is, Hygge can’t be commodified. Don’t get me wrong, the lifestyle magazines are certainly trying, with their promotions of scented candles and coordinated cushions, yet real hygge can happen anywhere to anyone, alone or in company, indoors or outside, with knitted socks keeping toes warm or without candles burning. It’s a unique feeling for each and every one of us.
How do I say it again?
Hooga? Hhyooguh? Heurgh? It is not important how you choose to pronounce or even spell ‘hygge’. To paraphrase one of the greatest philosophers of our time – Winnie the Pooh – when asked how to spell a certain emotion, ‘You don’t spell it, you feel it’.
– Meik Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge, 2016
OK, so where does it come from?
The happiest nation is the world of course, Denmark (p.s. they pronounce it ‘Hue-gahh’). It is the part of Europe that has captured our attention with this safe, snug and aspirational way of life. Surrounded by knitted blankets and a mastered work-life balance where leaving the office at 5pm is a done thing (true story).
Various publications are hoping to sell this ideal to us through the consumerism of such items and companies are relishing the chance to advertise this notion to us in any which way they can. Please don’t hate hygge because of this, it can all be rationalised as an investment in our emotional wellbeing after all, and that’s a good thing. We all want to feel it. Sometime we really need to feel it. And the Danes attach it to as many scenarios as possible. It can be applied anywhere and to anything, which can only assist with its popularity.
We wish you a hygge Christmas (yep, we said it!)
Halloween’s a distant memory and bonfire night has been and gone, can anything be more hyggeligt (that’s the adjective) than Christmas? With Danish winters known to be long and dark, hygge is in full swing at this time of year, warming the coldest of days. The millions of glowing candles help, of course. Mulled wine (known as gløgg), blankets and oversized scarves. With only 6 Mondays to go (yes 6!!), we are feeling as festive as a cup of Twining’s Christmas tea.
Not wanting to jump on this consumerism bandwagon or anything (OK maybe we do a teeny bit), but honestly, what could be better than receiving a little bag of hygge once a month through your letter box? After all, who doesn’t love parcels? And tea. The hygge tradition includes sharing life’s little pleasures amongst friends and family and our goal is to share the best teas in the world with our brew-loving customers.
To help countdown the days to Christmas, VarieTea will be running a competition for each of our customers and followers to win a yearly subscription of tea! All you have to do to is upload a photo of your favourite hygge moment to Facebook or Instagram (tip: include tea) and use the hashtag #VarieTeaDoesHygge. We will choose a winner each day/week/Monday starting from today. Have fun our little hyggerligers (we made that one up…)!
And just for good measure, I shall leave you here with my top 10 hygge moments, like a cosy beginners guide to all things hyggeligt. Go on, give it a go…
- Tea, page-turning book, log fire burning.
- Friends, roast dinner (with all the trimmings), wine.
- Dog (or pet of some description), blankets, tea.
- Chocolate Hobnobs dipped in tea.
- Beach walk, chips with salt and vinegar, tea.
- Duvet day, endless cups of tea.
- Catching up with friends over tea.
- Bubble bath.
- Sunday morning, cooked breakfast, tea.
*Definition from: http://www.skagen.com/gb/en/journal/danish-happiness-hygge/how-denmark-inspires/hygge-word-meaning.html