If you were, for whatever reason, to ask a layperson what they think a common custom or ritual for a single person might be, you’d most likely get some moderately-to-severely snide answers. You know, like, spending every weekend night confined to bed, browsing Pinterest, watching Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls, and only getting up to pull some more ice cream from the freezer or answer the door for the delivery pizza guy. Creating an Instagram for your cat. Opening a bespoke crochet tampon shop on Etsy. You know, like, activities that not a ton of single people probably do in reality, but have become so commonly ascribed to the unattached that it doesn’t matter, really, whether they’re true or not.
Still, as annoying as these stereotypes may be, you don’t actually have to do them. But, in some places, rituals for single people go far beyond the expected chick flicks and solitude. Rather, there are a bunch of customs that, while not actual laws, appear to be so culturally-ingrained that they may as well be laws. So, check out the weirdest customs for single people from around the world:
Cinnamon Toss In DenmarkRemember the Cinnamon Challenge from a few years back? Well, in Denmark, you get to experience it in a big way if you're single on your twenty-fifth birthday. If you turn twenty-five and you're aren't married, your friends tie you to a chair, throw a lot of cinnamon on you (like, you'll be completely doused), and, obviously, take lots of pictures of the whole thing. Image source:Imgur
Hat Party In FranceIf you want an excuse to wear a big, floppy hat for a day, make sure you're twenty-five, single, and in France on November 25th. This is a holiday called St. Catherine's day, which is celebrated by giving unmarried twenty-five-year-old women the funny-looking hats you see in the picture, and making them wear it for a day. Historically, the idea here is that all single women, by wearing these hats, can spot other single women (fair), form support groups (...k), and recite a special motto together, which goes: "Lord, give me a husband who's bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!" Sounds reasonable. Image source:Lex Press
German Sock PartyI don't know what it is about twenty-five specifically, but it seems like you might not want to celebrate that birthday anywhere in Europe if you happen to be single. In Germany, if you turn twenty-five and you're unmarried, it's customary to follow a string of socks from your house to your party. This way, the whole town knows that you're single--which, I assume, is exactly what you want. Image source:Peper Harow
German Cleaning PartyThough, if you don't like twenty-five in Germany, you really won't like thirty in Germany. If you're unmarried on your thirtieth birthday there, it's tradition for women to clean their friends' doorknobs with toothbrushes, and for men to sweep their friends' houses (usually the front porch so everyone can see them). The good news? Apparently, you can get out of it with a kiss from someone of the opposite sex. Image source: iStock
Korean 'Black Day'Can't get enough of complaining about Valentine's Day? If so, you should visit South Korea this April. On April 14th, they have a holiday called "Black Day," which is a day for single people who didn't have a Valentine in February (or, possibly, have lost theirs in the months since) to get together. Everyone wears black and eats all-back comfort food, like jjajang myeon, which is noodles covered in black bean paste. Sounds even better than Valentine's Day, tbh. Image source:Tumblr
Italian Sweeping SuperstitionThis isn't really "custom" so much as it is as superstition, but it's pretty interesting all the same--In Italy, there's a common belief that if someone swipes a broom over your feet by accident, you're destined to be single for the rest of your life. So, you're single and you see someone sweeping the floor, you have to hightail it out of there ASAP. Unless you prefer to be single, in which case, you let them sweep away, I guess? Image source
Cambodian Love HutsIn some parts of Cambodia, if you're unmarried and still live with your parents, they might take some actions to get you out. Specifically, they'd get a "courting hut," where you can have fun with potential baes away from your parents. Image source:Cambodian Daily
What do you think about these customs? Were there any that surprised you? Let us know in the comments!