• Julia Nowinska

The Art of Californian Hygge

With the holiday season coming, let’s get cozy.

It is pronounced as HOO-gah. And translates to “coziness”. The art of hygge is something Scandinavians have mastered during long, cold and dark winter nights. Think candles, hot cocoa, and a wool blanket. Then add some smooth jazz, being present, being grateful, and a feeling of togetherness. Hygge is all that combined together.

But can we really hygge in California, where surfing is available all year long, sun shines every day, and snow is a rare sight (apart from the Sierras of course!)?

Well, yes. My Danish friends convinced me that hygge is more of a state of mind, than a state of the weather. Plus, we have a perfect hygge destination in California - It is one of the quaintest little towns in California called Solvang, a Danish town in the middle of the Golden State.

Let’s be clear. It feels weird at first; like traveling in space and time at the same time. One minute you are on an American highway 246, and the other minute you see all these cute Danish buildings that look like they are from the 18th century with plastic storks attached to their roofs (Danish symbol of good luck!). But then you start smelling cinnamon pastries everywhere and noticing all the cute decorations in the windows (photo opportunities are literally around every corner). Little by little Solvang draws you in and you start enjoying it.

Once you accustom yourself to the Scandinavian vibe, try visit Jule Hus, an all year round store with Christmas decorations (why not stock up in April than September, right?).

And then you can go to Olsen Danish Village Bakery and try a real kringle, a Scandinavian pretzel that is sooooo good! We promise, you will not regret it: neither the calories nor coming to Solvang! At the end of the day, with all the lights and candles around you can feel the real hygge - right in the middle of California.

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