27 March 2014

The pacifier tree

As someone who loves trees, it warms my heart to see living trees included in a children’s ritual, as opposed to the jule thing, where they are just cut off and discarded. To those unfamiliar with the Scandinavian tradition: the pacifier tree is where children in a rite of passage sacrifice the pacifiers. They are left behind in clusters, tied to the branches with little parting notes attached and it is a huge deal for these small human beings. There are quite a few pacifier trees in Copenhagen, this one is in Fælledparken (home of the Tower Playground).

Having a tree like this makes so much sense, it teaches children that they are not alone in this. It is never too early to learn that we are not alone.

After a while the pacifiers are cut down, to make room for new ones. 

To understand what kind of agony these children are going through, we just have to think about our smartphones or internet connection. Maybe one day there will be a SIM card tree? Visited by teary-eyed, whimpering grown-ups?

The pacifier tree has recently branched out, and at least one is now blooming in the US.

I'm telling you: we are not alone. And we are not so different.


  1. I LOVE this tradition. My eldest son, Alexander, has a few tied to a tree in Charlottenlund (ok... they are probably cut down by now but I like to think that they are still there). Maybe I am oversentimental but, to me, it is some sort of passage while still maintaining a link to early childhood, like there is still some bit of a baby Alexander somewhere... I know I am a suck but it brings tears.... tak!

    1. It is so sweet! And maybe his pacifiers are still hanging in there, I was just told by the deputy mayor of Frederiksberg, that this is what they do there.

      Always happy to make you cry the good tears. : )

    2. Greetings from Canada. I'm watching a movie and your blog well explained what this cultural item is about. Also, I LOL'd at your grammar warning. Well done.

    3. Hi Canada,

      So nice to hear from you. Very happy to have you laugh out loud. :D


  2. That's a sweet great tradition Sandra! Never heard of it before. My son never had a pacifier but his thumb... hard to tie it up to a tree ;-). As for the "doudou" comfort stuff animal, he is now watching us live from the library. He still gets a hug from time to time. xo

    1. Haha, I have animals all over the house too. Still. And still adding. : )


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