Yes, summertime is upon us here in South Florida – where it seems magically to always be summertime. Should we revel in the sweet nostalgic intoxication of the season? Shall we dream our steamy summertime days away?
Or should we stay inside, crank up the air-conditioning, and plan our Oktoberfest excursions in the comfort of the cool darkness? Yes, Oktoberfest. Yes. The two-week celebration of beer, brauts, and merriment is something every breathing soul should collect their thoughts on.
So, what’s the story really? Does Bavarian heritage really designate two weeks to celebrating delicious beer and sausages? That actually sounds amazing and honorable, but no. Our friendly friends at Oktoberfest.de have provided some historical background to enlighten us: “The first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.”
The experts continue, “By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over ‘die Wiesen’ or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.”
You’re wearing a “so, why is this important to me” sort of look on your face. Personal heritage is a wash here. Bavarian, German, Swiss, Irish, Samoan. It’s all the same for Oktoberfest. It’s kind of like how “everybody’s Irish” on St. Patty’s. Except this is in September. And you don’t have to scrub green retch off of everything the next day. And while yes, delicious Bavarian beer can pack a punch… we’re not anxious about a week-long whisky hangover after this outing.