Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Silver Anniversary

Today is the 25th wedding anniversary of one of our neighbors and the perfect time to explain another Danish tradition!

Last night the neighborhood was a frenzy of activity - kids running everywhere while the parents 'pretended' to drill holes in the neighbor's house. They didn't actually drill any holes but the idea is that you attempt to freak out the happy couple by pretending to destroy their house - or something.

By the time everyone went to bed, there was a beautiful 'gate of honor' at the couple's front door:

Between 6:30 and 7:00 am this morning, everyone gathered in the street in front of their house:

There was a trumpet and a flute to accompany what some would call singing...

The singing was sad. I'll give everyone credit for attempting a few tunes at this obscene hour of the morning, but let me tell you, they really needed a Ken Nelson (aka my dad), a man who can be heard miles away, to lead them in their songs. Instead, this singing sounded more like someone had woken a few mice and led them in a sad chorus. I kept thinking.. I thought this was supposed to be a happy occasion? When you have 40-50 people singing and you can still hear the flute... something is amiss! Perhaps by the time another couple on the street celebrates their 25th, I'll know the Danish better, and the tunes better, and I can attempt to lead them.

As the group started song #4, the happy couple appeared on the front stoop...

And when the singing ended, everyone was invited inside for breakfast.

While I love embracing new traditions, I must admit that to me, this ranks up there with the faulty concept of the danish birthday party. Hasn't anyone in Denmark figured out that when it's YOUR day, someone else is supposed to do all the work? The happy couple had transformed the inside of their house into a banquet hall with seating for all these people around 3 HUGE tables. I can only imagine where the tables and chairs came from - I hope they were borrowed and that it wasn't necessary to rent them or something!

Keep in mind, this was 7 am!! Which means, in order to serve breakfast to all these people, my poor neighbors were probably up at 5 am putting rolls in the oven, slicing cheese, setting out jars of marmalade, etc. I do hope that once everyone left they finally had some time alone to celebrate their anniversary!!

Note to the Danes... When Ole and I celebrate our 25th, please do come and sing to us, but, if it's not too much trouble, can you bring the breakfast with you? Oh, and some tables and chairs too? Thanks!!


  1. heh...your dad and my dad are both singers. My father was in "Herning Kirkes Drengekor" and even sang in Westminster Abbey. To this day, he doesn't let anyone forget it. *grin*

  2. well , I only havejust under 3 years until our 12 1/2...I hope we can do a Copper wedding party...

  3. 7am??????????? I'm not sure if I would be all smiley if someone blows a trumpet in front of my house at 7am LOL

  4. It's nice how they make a fuss. I don't think
    1) any of my parents' friends made it that long
    2) anyone would say anything other than "OH! You get less time for MURDER in this country"

  5. Wow... sounds like a lot of hard work! If I make it that long, then I'd please like someone to do all the work for me! Ooo - and a lie-in would be nice too.

  6. Funny. It's like that in Germany, too, you have to host your own parties.

  7. I am not a morning person... you pull something like that on me, I'll set loose the dogs and turn on the sprinklers!

    I was supposed to do something like this for my husband's birthday, where I should have gotten up early, gone and gotten fresh buns and then set the table. Not that we were expecting anyone (see the above paragraph), but honestly the last thing I want on my birthday is an early morning! Do unto others as you would have done unto you - so I slept in and made a nice cake for after DINNER.

  8. Mark has totally tried to explain this tradition to me and I still don't get it. Anyone know the reason behind it?

    As for the birthday shenanigans...I happily do a big party for Mark but since mine usually falls around when I do a Thanksgiving dinner for my family, I just lump them together. I have been questioned many times from his family why a dinner and movie date is more exciting to me than cooking a massive dinner for his family. They just don't get it :)

  9. I often wondered why it is a Danish celebration to host your own parties. In the company we worked for, when it was someones birthday they would bring in their own cake or pastries to share with everyone else.

    But making breakfast for that many people? At 7am?? No thank you!


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