“Ask Brett” – History Of Oktoberfest… Kinda – Sept. 22

On September 20, N.S. wrote:

Happy 1st day of Oktoberfest 2014! Do you have any historical insight regarding this party?

Dear N.S.

First and foremost, yes.  I do have historical insights regarding this celebration.  For those who don’t know, Oktoberfest is a German/Bavarian beer fueled festival that is sandwiched between two less popular festivals: Sekstempberfest and Nokemberfest.  The latter being a month long festival celebrating unique and often elaborate hangover remedies, the former being self explanatory.

The origin of Oktoberfest dates back to 1810 and was originally a festival celebrating the marriage of two German royals.  Over the years, the celebration evolved (let’s face it, ideas always get more elaborate after a few beers) into the 16 day celebration it is today.  Historically, the Oktoberfest celebration would conclude on the first Sunday of Oktober, but in 1994 the rules changed so that the earliest the celebration could end is October 3rd, which is Germany’s “Unity Day”, the day in which they celebrate East and West Germany being reunited.  What you probably don’t know is that “Unity Day” also celebrates the reunification of North and South Germany after a brief (four hour) civil war erupted in 1992 over who loved David Hasselhoff more.  This is why if the last day of Oktoberfest lands exactly on October 3rd, it is customary for all participants to wear bright red swim trunks and fake chest hair; thus proving once and for all that, in the words of the great news caster Norm Macdonald, “Germans LOVE David Hasselhoff”.

Hope this helps.


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