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Did You Know Birthdays in Denmark Can Get Rather Spicy?

Pepper Denmark Tradition

So, what’s been going on in my life lately?

Well, I turned 30 earlier this month, so of course my friends tied me to a lamppost and covered me in ground pepper.

Pepper Denmark Tradition

Let me explain:

In Denmark, it’s tradition to cover a person in certain spices if they reach certain age milestones without having gotten married. On your 25th birthday it’s cinnamon (I dodged that one) and on your 30th, as you can see, it’s pepper.

So, how did this tradition start? Well, I’m fairly sure it has something to do with how the Danish expression for an ‘old maid’ is ‘pepper maiden’ (pebermø). Don’t ask me about the cinnamon. For all I know, that might just have been made up by people who were afraid the jackass mate they wanted to harass would get married before he turned 30, so they needed an earlier occasion.

As far as I know, the Danes are the only ones with this tradition. Probably for good reason, since – if your friends are assholes – it can be a rather horrible (and borderline dangerous) experience.

I, however, know that my friends aren’t complete sociopaths who would go overboard with no regards to safety (google it if you want to see what I’m talking about), so I told them they could do it, but also demanded that if they were going to do it, they had to do it properly. Tie me to a lamppost or don’t even bother!

They were happy to abide.

I did get back at them, though. It was a windy evening, and my loose hair was whipping around and throwing pepper at everyone involved. It also felt like a bit of payback for all the times I have been compared to the girl from the Grudge. Fear the hair!

(Insert evil laughter here)

I also tried to hug people after I got free, but for some reason they kept running away from me…

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