Why singles in Denmark get covered in cinnamon

God forbid you're unmarried at 30

Lindsay Dodgson
Business Insider
Friday 16 February 2018 14:32 GMT

Breathe, singletons - Valentine's Day is over.

If you live in Denmark, however, the nightmare continues.

As an article in The Telegraph explains, the streets of Denmark are often covered in cinnamon - and it's part of a long-standing tradition.

When you turn 25, if you're unmarried, it is customary in Denmark for your friends and family to cover you in the spice.

They don't go easy on you, either, covering people from head to toe and splashing them with water so the cinnamon sticks better.

Here's what it looks like:

In Denmark being unmarried on your 25th birthday gives people social license to pelt you with cinnamon.

A Danish man told The Telegraph that the tradition may date back hundreds of years to when spice salesmen would travel around and remain bachelors because they were never in one place long enough to settle down with someone.

Many of these salesmen would never find a partner, and would then be referred to as Pebersvends, which means “Pepper Dudes.” A single woman is thus called a “Pebermø,” or “pepper maiden.”

This makes sense on your 30th birthday, where the cinnamon gets upgraded to pepper.

If they're feeling super mean, Danes sometimes add eggs to the mix because it “helps with adhesion.”

Contrary to what the actions suggest, nobody is being judged for still being single at 25. The average age of men getting married in Denmark is 34 and a half, and for women it's 32.

Rather than a punishment, the tradition is just an excuse to play a prank and be silly with your friends when they reach milestone ages. It's also pretty funny.

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2018. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

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