Category Archives: Holidays




Saturday is the Autumn Equinox. Lying between Summer and Winter, Autumn has a languid feeling, especially at the beginning. The nights are shorter, but Daylight Savings Time is still in effect. The days are cooler, but not cold. Football comes into its regular season.

And best of all, Oktoberfest begins in Munich this Saturday and continues until October 7.

Wait, what? How can Oktoberfest begin in September? It’s all about the weather. October has more rainfall. Requests to start the festival earlier began in 1828.

Oktoberfest has always been more than a harvest festival. The first event occurred on October 12, 1820 with the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Try saying her name three times fast. Everyone had such a good time, the festival became an annual event.

Of course, now Oktoberfest draws over 7 million tourists.


What’s the first word you think of when Oktoberfest comes to mind?

For most of us it’s BEER. At the Munich festival all beers are from their own breweries: Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu. And all meet the Reinheitsgebot standards established in 1516. Among the rules: The recipe can only include barley, malt, yeast, and hops. After processing, the beer has up to 6 percent alcohol.


Oktoberfest bier steins hold one liter, and patrons consume about 1.98 million gallons of beer – enough to fill three Olympic swimming pools. When the beer arrives, hold up the stein, and shout Prost!

Oktoberfest has become an international festival with venues in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Brazil and even China.

If you want to go in 2019, tour groups are taking reservations.


So, if you’re not attending Oktoberfest in Munich, what else is there to do in the fall?

Raking LeavesGardners are busy. It’s time to plant bulbs for next spring’s gardens. Raking leaves becomes a frequent occupation. Pulling leaves out of gutters, preferably before rain turns them into a yucky mess, also keeps householders busy. Those leaf piles are fun to jump on. Of course, you may have to rake the leaves again.


Pumpkin PieWith the cooler weather, some people start their seasonal baking. Did you start a Christmas Cake? It’s not too late. Pumpkins and apples are also available for fresh pies.

If you have children, or plans for a Halloween party, it might be time to start thinking about costumes.

And don’t forget to go outside as deciduous trees put on their annual show.

Changing Leaves



Autumn by Alphonse Mucha. 1896. Public Domain.

Schuhplattler dance. By Harald Bischoff. Creative commons Attribution.

How to rake leaves by Bigmouth1. Creative Commons Attribution.

Pumpkin Pie by Alcinoe. Public Domain.

Autumn in New England by Muffet. Creative Commons Attribution.

Oktoberfest Statistics 2017.

“Oktoberfest 2018 and Beyond. BucketList Events.

Kaeli Conforti. “15 Things You didn’t Know about Oktoberfest.” Today. Sept. 26 2012.


Next Sunday is Mother’s Day, a commemorative day established by Anna Marie Jarvis in 1911 as a tribute to her mother and all mothers. In 1911 the day usually involved church services. Over time the celebration evolved into a sentimental event with all manner of gifts and cards for mom. In recent years mothers, daughters,… Continue Reading


At the beginning of this month, Punxsutawney Phil (America’s official groundhog) assigned us six more weeks of winter. This is approximately the time between Groundhog Day on February 2 and the Spring Equinox on March 20. If you think that’s too long to wait for Spring, you might want to celebrate HOLI – THE FESTIVAL… Continue Reading


Presidents’ Day is meant to honor all American presidents, but if any president comes to mind, it’s usually George Washington. A self-made gentleman, Washington became a consummate politician. Commander of the Continental Army. Chair of the Constitutional Congress. First President of the United States. He had his detractors, but most Americans saw the Virginian as… Continue Reading

Valentine Traditions

Did you notice? Before Holiday Decorations came down, Valentine’s Day cards were out. Once again a commemorative day many dread is upon us. It wasn’t always so. St. Valentine of Rome didn’t give flowers, candy, or cards. He gave soldiers the marriage sacrament. Claudius II declared soldiers couldn’t marry. He thought it reduced their fighting… Continue Reading

Journals, Peacocks, and New Year Resolutions

  “We will open the book,” wrote the poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce. “The pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Do you have a blank journal where you jot down musings, observations, or reminders? Many of us… Continue Reading

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