Hygge, we hear you ask, what is it and how do I get one?
Some words sound like what they are. Like ‘gargle’ for example, or ‘achoo!’, or maybe even ‘vroom’. ‘Roar’ and ‘hoot’ are also a little like that, now we think about it. ‘Ribbit’, too!
Anyway, where were we?
Ah yes. What does the word ‘hygge’ mean, do you reckon? It sounds kind of like one of those hugs where someone squeezes you so tight that they squish your organs a little bit, but you don’t mind because you know they’re totally just hugging you that way to show how much they care about you.
What the apeing heck is hygge?
Pronounced – say it with us now – ‘hoo-ga’, if we tried to explain what hygge is, we would say it’s a subtle blend of a state of being, mixed in with an activity. It’s derived from the Danish word for ‘cosiness’; a simple pleasure falling in-between the smell of chestnuts burning and the warmth from a burning fire.
Don’t you think it kind of sounds like what it is? That the letters curl around you like a blanket? Like a…dare I say it? A hug! [winks]
Comfort + warmth = hygge
Hygge is the comforting warmth of a cold winter night spent inside the house, it’s good wine and food mixed with even better friends and family, it’s passing stories and ideas between friends like they’re the office tin of chocolate biscuits. It’s the sound of laughter and fullness.
Although the word has been popularised from the Danish translation, it’s actually originally Norwegian – back in the day, it loosely translated as ‘well-being’ – so it slots in with our own ape-centric values about getting yourself into the woods and having adventures pretty darn well, don’t you think? It’s been around for a while, too – it first appeared long before the 18th century, and in the name of all things that are ape, that was bloomin’ yonks ago! It’s practically part of our heritage.
Like yoga but for your thoughts
Rather than all that spiritual lark, from what we can tell, hygge is more about living well. It’s about appreciating and taking the time to consider. A little like yoga, but for your thoughts. The kind of thought-yoga you do at Christmas when you’ve eaten a full roast and you’ve put a Christmas film on the telly and you take a deep breath of relief, completely content.
It’s somehow beyond definition, and yet, we’re betting you know exactly what we mean. You just can’t put your paw on the word for it.
This is autumn (sponsored by Go Ape)
So, what’s our recipe for hygge? Well, you know us, we would start the day with some monkeying around on a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure course (where else?!).
The leaves right now are the full spectrum of colours, right through from brown to green (our favourite!), and it’s the PERFECT time to get outside and let your eyes feast on the glorious naturally occurring Pantone-like rainbow that is autumn. Take it in. Let your eyes guzzle down those colours like you’ve never seen anything so blooming beautiful in your whole life. If you didn’t know better, you’d think we’d sponsored autumn or something. We would if we could!
Embrace the hygge
When you get home from your autumn Go Ape adventure, take a deep breath [inhales]. Make yourself a hot chocolate (with some of those teenie tiny marshmallows on the top – go on, treat yourself!). If you have a fireplace, light a fire and watch the embers flicker. Read a book in the living room. Snuggle up after your adventure, confident that you’ve covered both the get-up-and-go part of your day as well as the sit-down-and-nap part [exhales]. Invite a friend round to share a coffee or glass of wine, and maybe your hopes and dreams, too.
Phew… do you have a Cliff notes version?
So that was the long answer, but what’s the short one? How do you be/live/get/have/eat hygge?
Embrace adventure, take a deep breath and then curl up under the most comforting, convivial blanket you can get your paws on (can a blanket be convivial? We’re not entirely sure…).
What are you waiting for? Hygge up on the sofa. You have our permission. After all, it’s part of a long-standing tradition. It would be rude not to.