Do the Irish need Hygge?

Happy St Patrick’s Day to you! And a break from A Weekend with… posts especially for St Paddy’s Day.

And a question: In a country where the most famous export is Guinness, the best know exported Irish words are Slainte and craic, which is famous for its welcome and the warmth of its hospitality… do they really need hygge?


Well, yes. Because hygge is there already, like it is in every culture. In the article People do it already in Ireland: Mastering the Danish art of living well  the Irish journalist Meadhbh McGrath quotes from an Irishman now living in Denmark,

John Kelly, originally from Dublin, has been living in Haderslev, Denmark, for 13 years, and says hygge is not an entirely foreign concept. “People do it already in Ireland,” he says, citing examples such as an evening at the pub with friends or a singalong when someone pulls out a guitar at a party. “That’s very much the Irish version of hygge. We just do it slightly differently than the Danes do,”

I have spent nights partying wildly to celebrate weddings, birthdays and get-togethers, but it’s the smaller nights with the host families that I remember best. Sitting watching the snow on top of the Sperrin mountains, sipping hot whiskey toddies with Uncles, Aunts and Cousins around, gathering after a day on the farm and eating barbecue as the last drops of daylight pass to be swallowed up into a night far darker, far blacker than in any city I know and being aware, as we sat around the firepit outside that this was what our ancestors experienced all the time, the vast darkness of the ground, the silver lightness of stars and moon and the warm of company and fire. That, to me, was Irish hygge at its best.

So I caution the Irish, as I do the English and the Americans and anyone else to whom hygge has become a  lifestyle ‘thing’ this year, that it’s not a trend. It’s not available from a shop, it can’t be caught and won’t be bought. As Hygge Hero Meik Wiking says;

“Hygge is the one thing you can’t buy or sell or produce because it’s something that happens between people,” he says. “To us, it’s not a trend. To us, hygge is something between people. It’s an atmosphere first and foremost. It’s not about things.”

Happy St Patrick’s Day, everybody. Whether you celebrate large or small, with family or friends, may your day be blessed with moments of hygge to treasure forever.

Cant be caught wont be bought

Some articles about ‘Irish Hygge’ to read:

and my personal favourite one,

50 Ways to Hygge The British Way Book cover

Have I mentioned that my book 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is now available on Kindle? You can order it in  Paperback and Kindle versions.

Joes toes giveaway

And please click through to this link to find entry for my first giveaway, with a Joe’s Toes slipper kit and a copy of my book available to win!

****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I don’t carry adverts and I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***




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