Hygge has many meanings, and if you’ve heard of the term before you may think hygge in summer is an odd phrase. In English-speaking cultures the word has become associated with warmth and cozy-ness (somewhat of a misconception, as we will uncover), so it doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with warm weather.
The “feeling” translates to much more than throwing on a sweater when it’s cold and can be experienced throughout all seasons.
What is “Hygge”?
So for those readers new to the term, you are probably asking, “what is this funny word, anyway?”
Pronounced hoo-geh, hygge is a Danish expression used to describe a positive feeling that is typically experienced when amongst people you care about in a pleasant atmosphere. Hygge is the emotion felt when you are spending time with friends at a neighborhood coffee shop or bar. It is the feeling you enjoy while having a comforting meal with family.
Think of it almost like a “hug” (in fact, the words are related) – what does a hug make you feel? Often warm, comfortable, happy, safe and social. It requires living blissfully in the moment. According to VisitDenmark, hygge translates to, “enjoying the good things in life” in good company and in a comforting environment. Candles also come up a lot when examining the subject.
Here’s a quick, entertaining video from VisitDenmark explaining the concept of hygge:
In Denmark, the height of hygge is during the middle of winter (Christmas time typically) but the nation’s culture incorporates the concept throughout the four seasons.
Tips for Achieving Hygge in Summer
As we’ve discussed, in essence hygge is a feeling experienced during comforting moments with people you care about. You can certainly inspire the feeling during any season. Read on for some tips to get started.
Make (Summer) Comfort Food
One of the main sources of comfort involved in hygge is food. During summer, the thought of comfort food doesn’t necessarily sound appealing, being that comfort food tends to be hot stuff. Get into your kitchen and make some summer-approved comfort food! Try a pasta salad, easy barbecue meats and/or veggies, ice cream parfaits and potato salad. For a great list of recipes to start with, visit this helpful listicle.
The idea of a picnic with friends or family is the ultimate hygge summer activity. Pack a healthy amount of food, blankets and your beverages of choice and you’re all set. Forget the stereo (or Bluetooth speaker) at home and instead just enjoy the sounds of nature and your companions’ conversation.
BBQ It Up
Hygge usually involves the act of eating and experiencing a meal with loved ones. All the 5 senses should be involved. Barbecue is a highly sensorial form of cooking and therefore perfect for your hygge experience. To kick the hygge-vibe up a notch, get a fire pit going, if possible, and let guests roast their own snacks and sweets. To get some ideas rolling for your BBQ party (with a modern twist) check out this article.
Go all out with your candles and summer comfort food during a fun and cozy dinner with friends. If you can, dine outside to take advantage of some outdoor living. Don’t forget appetizers and wine, or recruit your friends for that part. Have a laid back dinner and evening with nothing planned but casually eating and relaxing. No activities and no chores. You and your friends will love it – just trust us.
Wine and a Sunset
Something as simple as just enjoying some wine and watching the sunset with others close to you is plenty hygge. If it has been a hot day, break out some chilled Riesling to cool down with and relax outside while the light fades. Some candles, again, wouldn’t hurt.
Ready to get your hygge on but need a place to get cozy in, first? Our realtors are so ready to help you out – just get in touch!