A great part of the year darkness rules in Denmark. From the beginning of October until the end of March, the lack of sufficient daylight influences the average Dane’s mental health. One of the means that the Danes are mobilizing against this gloomy period of darkness is the Danish “Hygge”.”Hygge” is a way for the Danes to establish comfortability indoors. One of the primary instruments for doing so are the candles. In the long dark period of the year, the Danes gather at home in the gleam of the candlelight. Lots of candle light. And of course, if there is a fireplace in the house, the wood is set on fire. Together with the candles goes some kind of hot drink. Hot chocolate, coffee or tea or maybe a bottle of wine. Well, sometimes the hygge ends up in something completely different…
If you want to give Danish friends something useful for their home just give them candles. They will love you for doing so. – Old Denmark
For me, the home should be a sensory experience from the softness of sheets, the cosiness of a couch, wonderful food to eat, fresh air that comes in through a window, the glow of a candle and wonderful smells that go throughout the house.
Candles, for me, take care of the wonderful glow, the smell and, especially at Christmas, the holiday feeling. My mother, who is a candle maker, has lit a candle every day at the dinner table for as long as I can remember. She makes an advent candle wreath in which every Sunday before Christmas one more light is lit. Candles, to a Dane, are very, very important. You just wouldn’t have a home without one. Or ten!
I’ve got different candles for different times of the year and right now I’m loving my mulling spice, buttered rum, white chocolate and pine candles and my year-round all-time favourite, Volcano. Walking from room to room I get different whiffs of Christmas. The glow in the evening helps to relax me. For a relatively inexpensive amount, a mood is created and a home transformed.
I find myself wanting to stay in the house more and more thanks to some seasonal touches that make the place far too nice to leave. Instead of dreading the dark days of winter I welcome them – even long for them – if only to have a glow.