Is darkness getting you down? Try hygge and lagom!

November 13, 2018

Winter in the north is long and harsh, but the Danes and the Swedes have their own ways of making it comfortable and even enjoyable – and we found out their secrets.

In Denmark, people greet the winter season with a smile, and it’s all thanks to hygge. Hygge is a Danish concept that can be translated loosely as enjoying the atmosphere, pleasant company and the present moment. Hygge means not letting the darkness outside get you down, but instead enjoying the chance to spend time indoors in a cosy domestic atmosphere.

Sweden’s response to hygge is lagom. Lagom is a common Swedish word that perfectly encapsulates Scandinavian folk wisdom. There is no direct translation for it, but it can mean moderation and having enough – that you have just the right amount of everything.

Some believe the term goes all the way back to the Vikings, who would sit around a fire and eat together. The expression “laget om”, around the group, described how much food each person was allowed to take from the shared meal so there would be enough for everyone. Over time, “laget om” got shortened to “lagom”.

Lagom is not a passing mood, but rather a balanced approach to life. This inner balance carries you even through the dark winter months. 

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