Header Ads

An Evening of Danish Hygge

Our next social cultural event is a rare opportunity for Washingtonians to experience Danish hygge, without visiting Denmark as our adventures of exploring other cultures, food and drinks continue with a special evening of Danish hygge.

An evening of Danish hygge
An evening of Danish hygge
During the course of the evening, we will be tasting and talking about Danish food and drinks and as the evening progresses, you will find out why the Danes consistently are among the happiest people on this planet.

An Evening of Danish Hygge

We will spend an evening at the home of our fellow Danish member Benny Anderson with Danish music and food, which includes homemade Danish smorrebrod, dishes from the new Nordic cuisine, Danish coffee cake, Danish beer, and Danish akvavit ('water of life').

Smørrebrød by Angermann
Smørrebrød by Angermann
This event is part of our social cultural series where we periodically explore different cultures, food and drinks.

The best way to understand Danish culture and know the meaning of 'hygge' is to actually experience it.

Before our Danish social cultural event, we would like to share with you a few notes prepared by our host Benny on the secret to Danish happiness, culture and understanding the meaning of hygge.

A Secret To Danish Happiness

by Benny Anderson

The tiny Scandinavian country Denmark with its long, dark, and cold winters has consistently been among the three happiest countries surveyed in the World Happiness Report since its first publication in 2012. It has also been ranked the happiest country in the world in three of the last six years with the survey including 156 countries.

Happy Despite of Cold Winters and High Taxes

How come in a country flat as a pancake, gray and dark for several months, and with the highest taxes in the world, people are still happy ?

Viking Age - Guests from Overseas by Nicholas Roerich
Viking Age - Guests from Overseas by Nicholas Roerich
And talking about high taxes – and this is not a fairy-tale by Hans Christian Andersen - those people filled with Viking blood even happily pay their taxes, believing that high taxes contributes to a better society.

While there are different theories floating around, including the importance of social cohesion and free access to high-quality education and health care financed by the high taxes, the importance of hygge and its 'shared intimacy' experiences undoubtedly plays a key role.

The Link Between Happiness and Hygge

While hygge is integral to the Danish culture, it has also become a global phenomenon in recent years.

If you think that Danes consistently are among the happiest people on this planet because of scoring high on such subjects as freedom, generosity, health, social support, income, and trustworthy governance, you are, of course, spot on, as those have been the criteria used by the UN sponsored World Happiness Report.

Indeed, Denmark is known to many foreigners as a country with a relatively high degree of income equality, where healthcare is free, there is free university education (in fact students are paid about $1,000 a month by the government to go to university), with typically up to 52 weeks of paid paternal leave, and with highly subsidized child care.

Moreover, Danes trust each other. Many Danes don’t lock their car doors or front doors. It gives added mental space to be happy if you are not anxious because of lack of human trust.

Wine and book by the fireplace
Wine and book by the fireplace
However, what fewer may know is that the national pastime is having hygge, for example cuddling in front of a roaring fireplace while enjoying a good book with a glass of red wine or coffee with chocolates and cakes; or enjoying food, drinks and conversations with friends.

Social time with friends
Social time with friends
As described by Professor Maria Helweg-Larsen from the Dickinson College, hygge acts as a buffer against stress, while also creating a space to build camaraderie.

The word hygge, pronounced (hoo-ga, hue-gah, hoo-gah) and commonly translated as a feeling of coziness, wellness and contentment is about enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

It is important to note that hygge moments can be very simple and something you can feel spontaneously.

A house with a warm atmosphere can be described as hyggeligt, and it is common to thank a host after a dinner by saying it was hyggeligt (meaning everybody had a very good time together).

Like other emotions, you need to feel hygge to know it.

Learn more
The history of smørrebrød is as fascinating as the variety of food toppings that go on it.


The Little Book of Hygge by Mike Wiking, CEO of The Danish Happiness Research Institute. HarperAudio 2017

Why Denmark dominates the World Happiness Report rankings year after year by Marie Helweg-Larsen

Getting There

Benny’s home is in Dominion Valley about 3 miles from Exit 40 (Haymarket) on I66. We will send the address to the participating members, who have reserved their spot, a few days before the event.

Event Message Board

Important messages related to the event are highlighted, so participants can catch the latest updates about the event.

Event Details


Description: The best way to understand Danish culture and know the meaning of 'hygge' is to actually experience it.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018 6:00 PM to 10:00PM

Contribution: $25 (for cost of dinner and drinks) / Limited Spots

Venue: Benny's House in Dominion Valley, Virginia (Address will be emailed to our participating members)

Address: Dominion Valley, VA, 20169

No more spots available for this event

Event Guest List

After you have reserved a spot, your name will be added to the confirmed guest-list. The list is periodically updated, after you have received your confirmation email.

Article Category:

No comments