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7 quirky ways of celebrating anniversaries

Commemorating an event, whether personal or public, can be quirky and fun

Kathakali Chanda
Published: May 19, 2016 06:03:06 AM IST
Updated: May 17, 2016 07:16:58 PM IST
7 quirky ways of celebrating anniversaries
Image: Getty Images
Tiens Group staff who were treated to a vacation in France last year

  1. Florida couple Ann (81) and Ken Fredericks (85) relive their wedding day every year by biting into the cake that was served at their wedding party in August 1955. Their kids won’t touch it and the duo admits that the dark fruit cake, preserved in a coffee can in their kitchen closet, has gotten a tad dry in 60 years. But a splash of brandy moistens it up and, as Ann says, makes it taste “just fine”.

  2. Li Jinyuan, the billionaire owner of Chinese multinational group Tiens, took 6,400 employees on a four-day trip to France to celebrate the firm’s 20th anniversary last year. The group got a mass viewing of the Louvre and the Moulin Rouge in Paris and later checked into Nice. Li is estimated to have spent nearly 13 million euros on the trip. You know where to apply to for your next job.
  3. More from China: Jiangsu Xin Chang Jiang Group, a village-owned business in the Jiangsu province, distributed gold and silver bars among its stakeholders (read: The villagers) to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2012. The group, one of the top 20 enterprises in the country, also ensured that the gifts remain secure—they gave each household a safe to store the valuables in.
  4. When Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was released in 1975, it sent chills down many a spine. In 2015, to commemorate 40 years of the classic, Alamo Drafthouse, a Texas theatre famous for its no-texting policy during screenings, set up a giant screen on the banks of a lake, and invited its audience to watch it while floating on water. You wouldn’t know what was lurking beneath the water, would you?

  5. British cake artist Michelle Wibowo commemorated Michelangelo’s 450th death anniversary in 2014 by baking a life-sized replica of the Italian artist’s ‘The Creation of Adam’ painted on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. The edible replica, which contained 10,000 marshmallows and about half a billion cake sprinkles and took 168 hours to complete, was titled ‘The Baking of Adam’.
  6. Single and turning 30 in Germany? Pick up a broom. No, not just to clean up your drunken birthday eve bash. Tradition demands that an unmarried man celebrating the milestone birthday, in some northern and western states, must dress as a woman and sweep the steps of the city hall, town square or church till he’s kissed by a virgin.
  7. Dan McIntyre and Dunya Kalantery of Greater London loved each other, as well as congealed fat found in sewers, notoriously known as fatbergs. The two met in 2013, thanks to their shared interest in a 15-tonne grease mass that blocked sewage pipes and caused havoc. The following year, the duo celebrated their first anniversary of getting together by going down a manhole and watching clumps of waste float around in London’s sewers. Dunya’s only regret? That she couldn’t bring home a piece as a souvenir. All for the best, perhaps.

(This story appears in the 27 May, 2016 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)