Shabbat [Summer] Hygge

I spent my semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and while living there, I learned about hygge. As I became quickly obsessed with this Scandinavian principle of hygge, a mood of coziness and warmth (pronounced hoo-gah), I realized that this lifestyle was going to be a key souvenir of my time abroad. 

If Shabbat were a person, I’m sure she’d wrap me in a blanket, hand me a cup of tea, and squeeze me tightly as we swayed and hummed the Shabbat blessings. Ahhhh. When I came back from Shabbat one night at school and my Norweigan friend asked how it was I replied, “it was hygge.” I knew she understood. I felt these two parts of my identity, the Jewish side and the hygge-obsessed traveler, clashing bringing me to the ultimate collab: Jewggah. 

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What is Hygge

Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy” to “cozy togetherness.” It’s charged with a strong orientation and commitment towards experiencing and savoring the present moment. It’s about appreciating the simple pleasures. 

 

I’ll take some of that… How do I Hygge-ify my Shabbat?

While summer may not encourage the use of fireplaces and candles, summer can be lig (the adjective of hygge) too. Summer doesn’t mean you have to turn down the cozy (just ‘cuz it’s warm)! AND how do you make cuddling up happen when we have to keep socially-distanced?!

Atmosphere

Warm light: No recipe for hygge is complete without candles. If you’re outdoors, a hint of twinkle lights does the trick! For the warmth of a winter fireplace in the summer, go for the gold with a bonfire. Sit around a bonfire, with a libation, good friends, and the occasional pause in conversation to just stare into the flames as the sounds of the fire fill the silence.

 

Your Menu

Creating a comfortable space to express hygge often involves eating something (like all good gatherings!):

  • Slow foods! The longer it takes to prepare and enjoy it (like crafting and then grazing a cheese board), the more time you have to enjoy the level of comfort you’re experiencing. The joy comes from an appreciation of the time you spend preparing something of value. 
  • For the sweet tooth: Cakes and pastries galore! And don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Baking at home is the ultimate hygge flex (either solo or with your crew). Few things contribute more to the hygge *vibes* than the smell of freshly baked goods.
  • And a warm cup in your hands: Tea, hot chocolate, mulled wine, or a cup of coffee are all great options. And if you want more #inspo, check out our warm camp beverage recipes! 

 

Dress the Part

Casual is key. Invite friends to wear their most comfortable outfits — time to use the “PJs Okay” setting on your OneTable dinner creation page…

 

Summer Picnic

Make it a pot-luck! More lig *vibes* come in the form of all of your guests feeling like they’re contributing the moment.

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While Shabbat comes around once a week,  is about making the most of what we have in abundance: the everyday. As we squeeze out the best parts of summer in the finals weeks, let’s up our hygge game for a moment of pause, reflection, and comfort. 

Inspired? Click here to create a dinner or apply to become a host.

Julia Balick

Julia is a senior at Davidson College and is the Shabbat chair of their Jewish Student Union. In her free time you can find her listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, studying hygge, watching the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, or perfecting her coffee frothing technique.

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