A Question For My Danish Readers

Why do I keep finding large piles of cinnamon (kanel) on the ground outside?

This is third time I’ve been walking home and thought, “hmm what’s that lovely smell?” only to look down and find a huge pile of cinnamon. Like someone was walking home with a flour-sized sack of cinnamon and dropped it all over. Only now that I’ve seen it so often it seems like its left there on purpose?

I’ve gotten no where googling “uses for large quantities of cinnamon” (expect that I’m now convinced I should be eating more cinnamon), so I ask you, native Danes. Is it used to keep pests away? Is it used like sawdust to cover up barf (which you can also find a lot of on the streets, especially Sunday and Monday mornings)? Or is it just that so many people are baking hyggelig Christmas treats that the incidents of people dropping cinnamon all over the sidewalk go way up this time of year? I need answers!


6 thoughts on “A Question For My Danish Readers

  1. Well, we do have some cakes containing cinnamon, especially “kanelsnegle” (cinnamon rolls) and “jødekager” (a christmas cookie with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon on top). And many danes eat a lot of “risengrød” in November and December (a special kind of rice pudding served with a little butter, sugar and cinnamon).
    So many danes buy a LOT of cinnamon…

    It may be the reason why you continuously find it 😉
    (I have no better answer unfortunately


  2. No, there’s another possibility:

    Someone in the area has had their 25th birthday?
    When you turn 25 i Denmark, your friends and sometimes family are likely to give you cakes, containing cinnamon, throw cinnamon at you in large amounts, hide cinnamon all over your house… Just a tradition how strange it may sound 😉

    (If you’re still not married at 30 years old, they will do the same to you, but with pepper instead…)


  3. Yes, it’s a 25th birthday ritual. If you’re not married by 25, you get doused with cinnamon. At 30, it’s black pepper. We recently went to a 30th birthday party where my husband had to get close to the action to witness this crazy Danish ritual. He smelled like pepper for days afterwards but got a hilarious video for it.


  4. Thanks everyone for your responses! It appears that we are probably witnessing the aftermath of someone’s 25th birthday. I had absolutely NO idea that this birthday cinnamon ritual existed in Denmark. I totally love it. What crazy fun 🙂


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