When the weather turns dark, cold and wet, and we turn indoors rather than out, Hygge takes on a whole new level of importance. Feeling cosy, contented, and comfortable is the perfect antidote to wild days outside.
Hygge is not a new concept. In fact, the trendsetters will tell you it's on its way out, which probably means it's a good time to start to embrace it! The word 'hygge' first appeared in written language in the early 1800s, it had a surge in popularity in 2016 in the UK after several books were published on the subject and then took off in America in 2017. According to Forbes, in 2019 hygge was on the way out and being replaced by 'Lagom'. Lagom means "not too little, not too much, just right". That's all very well if you've over-decorated with candles and blankets and its summer, but in the depths of winter, cosy and comfortable seems far preferable.
In NZ, we probably call hygge' being cosy', although the hard-core folk from Otago and Southland might go so far as to call it being a 'bit soft' and to toughen up. If you want to create some cosy comfort NZ style, here are our top tips.
- Ditch the swanni at the door and grab a NZ merino wool blanket. Either drape it around your shoulders or hit the couch and cover-up.
- Shut the curtains and turn off half the lights. There's nothing cosy about bright lighting, and you don't want to be doing yourself an injury by walking into things either. If you've got candles light them and dot them around the room, it's ok to borrow them from your civil defence kit as long as you replace them straight away. In desperate times put torches on their ends either facing up or down to get your light level how you want it.
- If you've got a fireplace, light the fire. Bonus points for burning pinecones foraged from a farm or bush near you.
- Scent is essential to hygge so pop a roast in the oven. The smell of a roast will take many kiwis back to their grandmothers' kitchens. Lamb is best, but this is about contentment so pick your favourite. You'll also want dessert, so remember to whip up an apple crumble served with tip-top ice-cream.
- Invite over your mates. Some time on your own is excellent but not all winter, and besides, you can't eat the whole roast yourself—no need to dress up or be fancy which suits us kiwis just fine.