Winter doldrums got you down? Hygge can help chase away the blues and make the season bright.
What on earth is hygge, you say? It’s a Danish word, pronounced hYOOga, which translates roughly to 'coziness’. It sounds similar to the word hug, and I like to think of it as a ‘hug to the soul’.
Danes fight the darkness of winter with hygge as their finest weapon, and the candlelight that goes along with it. It describes an attitude to life that explains why the Danes are the happiest people on earth.
Hygge isn’t meant to be translated; it’s meant to be felt. When I picture hygge, I think of candlelight and firelight, friends and family and potlucks, snuggling under a blanket on a snowy day, a cat on my lap, a cup-of- hot chocolate and the smell of cinnamon and allspice. It means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the simple things in life with good people. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a candlelit table discussing the big and small things in life.
In Denmark, the high-season for hygge is Christmas, when Danes pull out all the stops. If you’ve strolled the streets of Copenhagen during the festive season, you know the magic they can do with lighting and mulled wine.
How can we bring this cozy feeling to each day? Bundle up for some Calgary hygge:
• Stroll along the Calgary Zoo’s snow-lined pathways with family and friends. Enjoy over 1.5 million lights and warm up at one of the roaring fire pits for a hot chocolate and conversation. Visit Calgary ZOOLIGHTS November 27 through to January 2: calgaryzoo.com
• Lace up your skates and head down to your community skating rink, maintained by our beloved rink volunteers. Or visit one of the many skating spots throughout Calgary such as Bowness Park or the Prince’s Island lagoon. There’s hygge to be found while wearing skates!
• Join Calgary’s largest snowball fight! You can sign up at snowfight.wix.com/signup to participate in our second annual snowball hygge.
• Toast marshmallows around the fire-pit at the top of the St. Patrick’s Island toboggan hill, and stay for the outdoor holiday movie: evexperience.com
• Fill a thermos of tea, grab a neighbour, and walk through your neighbourhood. Make a snow angel or two. Celebrate the outdoors. It can help you discover your own sense of hygge.
Life in Calgary offers many outdoor activities throughout the colder months. And since winter is too often a dreaded word in our English vocabulary, let’s embrace hygge as a way to live happier lives all year long.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.