ABOUT THE DANISH TRADITION OF CELEBRATING A BACHELOR BOY OR SPINSTER
– The tradition of turning oil barrels into a pepper mill celebrating a bachelor boy or a bachelor girl is Danish. They are named pebersvend (male) and pebermø (female).
The image collection that you will find here is of sculptures for a pebersvend or pebermø. When we come across a new sculpture, we simply have to photograph it. It is a passion.
THE TRADITION IN DENMARK OF GIVING PEPPER AS PRESENT ON THE 30TH BIRTHDAY
Did you know that in the old days (apprix. 1500), people from the Hanseatic cities had to pay taxes and were not allowed to marry resident Danish girls when they worked in Denmark? The tax was often paid in kind, and pepper was the most expensive, hence the term pepper arose as a term for bachelors.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF "PEBERSVEND"
The unmarried man - the bachelor - is therefore given pepper as a gift on his 30th birthday by friends and family, as a joke about the lack of marriage. The pepper is given in the form of a pepper grinder.
He was unmarried like the journeymen (travelling "svend") who came from the Hanseatic States. Generally, young people in those days were already married before the age of 30, so an unmarried bachelor had to be teased. He was given pepper as a gift, hence the name "Pebersvend".
The meaning was later transferred to women, hence "pepermø".
THE DANISH TRADITION OF OIL BARREL SCULPTURES
When friends want to make the most of banter, what could be more appropriate than forging empty oil barrels together into a giant pepper grinder, and placing it in front of the front door or in front of the house of the 30th birthday person. Preferably, the sculpture should look like the hachelor guy or the spinster, and would also like to refer to the "unused" genitals that passers-by could benefit from by marrying the birthday person.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF "GRÆSENKEMAND"
There is another Danish word for pebersvend, but with a slightly different meaning, namely "græsenkemand" ("grass widower". The word "græsenkemand" comes from an old meaning of the word "graze". In ancient times, "grazing" meant traveling around and taking up temporary residence in different places. A man who accompanied his wife on her travels was therefore called a "græsenkemand". However, the word "graze" is not used in this way today, and the meaning of "græsenkemand" has changed to mean a man temporarily left alone because his wife is traveling or working.