Thursday, February 14, 2013

Those Funny Danes


Hi! It's my first post in the blog and I'm so excited!!! Today I want to tell you about a weird but still charming tradition of Danes' called Kobberbryllup or Copper Wedding :) 

Last Saturday my husband and I went to such a wedding anniversary. In different countries the number of years spent together and to be celebrated vary a lot. Denmark is no exception. But these charming Danes went even further! When do you think they celebrate the Copper Wedding? You might suggest 5 or 22 or 7... No and no. They celebrate 12 ½ years Wedding Anniversary!!! Where on Earth did they take this number?! :)

If we should believe history, the tradition traces back to 1800s..........
where it first started in Copenhagen and spread on to the rest of Denmark only around 1930. The couple is awaken early in the morning by their relatives and close friends and they all have breakfast together and sing Det er så yndigt at følges ad

Well, let's get back to the last Saturday, when we arrived to the celebration at 1p.m., which took place at the couple's gildesal (party hall). First thing I noticed was that all women were dressed up and most of them even had make-up on (which I haven't seen that often at family celebrations so far). Now, I thought, that's a VERY important celebration.

There was lots of delicious food arranged as a buffet. I definitely had too much! :) But first thing we did when we sat down to the tables was ..... signing of course! Danes are an extremely "singing nation", no celebration goes without it. You would normally find a small song book or a print out on the table in front of you. Which we also did this time. It was only a few lines of a welcome song, just to kick off the "party".

Then we sang a few more songs when having short pauses between meals. I must tell you, it's much of a fun! :)

But the funniest part was the song that the husband wrote HIMSELF to his wife. It is in Danish, and even if you can't read Danish, believe me it's worth trying Google translate or another translation resource, 'cause it's hilarious!! Just follow the verses' sequence.

It surely didn't go whithout the usual "skål" (cheers) :)

We had a good time and after all the meals we all sang another song (under this passage). The meaning of it is that every line can be applied to one or more people among the guests, and you're supposed to get up if a certain line can be applied to you and then sit down again, and so on. For example, if you think you're beautiful you should get up and sing along line 3 in the first verse; or if you're under 32 get up and sing along line 2 in the forth verse. The last verse really made us all do some exercise! It was especially needed after all that food we'd had :)

BTW just before singning the song my husband got a short instruction ;) not to get up for line 3 in the second verse "elsker piger" (like girls) :)


  1. Us crazy Danes ;-) Very well written. And it's really interesting to look at ourselves this way from a foreigner's view.

    One minor correction, Palle didn't actually write the song himself. He didn't even know anything about it before he was told to stand up. It was something my parents did to make fun of him. I guess making fun of ourselves and each other (and liking it) is also a part of being Danish.

    And the reason for the number 12½ is as following: In Denmark we have two big wedding anniversaries. 50 years is Gold Wedding - and half way there, 25 years is Silver wedding. So Copper Wedding is half way to Silver Wedding. But it's much less formal, hence all the joking and funny songs :-)


  2. Thanks, Majken :)

    Now we know that Palle is not that "dygtig" with poetry :) That was a really funny one though!

    I understand why it is the half you celebrate, but in the mentality of many foreigners (incl. myself) it is still strange. Why would you celebrate the half?? :) But again it might seem weird, but it's still charming :)