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Hygge and Friluftsliv

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The festive winter holidays with their warmth and cheeriness are winding down, and the long winter season is upon us.  What can be done to make this dark, cold time of year more enjoyable? How can we look forward to and love the winter in northeast Ohio?   The Scandinavians have a wonderful tradition called Hygge, pronounced hoo-guh. 

Hygge is a celebration of comfort, warmth and friendship.   What better way to start the year than with enjoying the companionship of family and friends in the comfort of your own home. 

Many of us will soon we’ll be taking down the decorations that have added a touch of sparkle and festivity to our homes.  Why not replace these decorations with the warmth and glow of candles.   A fireplace is an even brighter, warmer addition to the home.   

Indulging in comfort food is another way to hygge.  Whether it’s sampling traditional Scandinavian dishes or having your favorite American fare, it’s all about treating yourself with loving kindness.     

If your idea of comfort and happiness isn’t all about hibernating in your home there are other ways to enjoy winter.  Try a long walk on a cold, crisp evening with a friend or family member enjoying the company and conversation.  A Nordic term for this is  friluftsliv, pronounced free-loofts-liv, meaning open-air-living.  It’s a description of the way the people in this part of the world embraces outdoor living.   

Here are a few interesting facts about friluftsliv from What is ‘friluftsliv’? How an idea of outdoor living could help us this winter.   Norway has government sponsored “libraries” where you can borrow outdoor gear.  Friluftsliv has its own law, friluftsloven, which includes the right to roam.  I suggest checking out this National Geographic Article: What is ‘friluftsliv’? How an idea of outdoor living could help us this winter for more. 

If hygge and or friluftsliv appeal to you, check out materials from the library catalog.  You’ll find decorating ideas, recipes, activities and more by searching Hygge and Friluftsliv 

Information for this article can be found at What Is Hygge? How to Enjoy the ‘Cozy’ Danish Lifestyle in Your Home.