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How to Celebrate Oktoberfest


Observing Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is one of the most fun-filled ethnic holidays celebrated in the United States. Observed mostly by those of German descent, Oktoberfest is a time of happy celebration and of history and traditions that have been passed down in German bloodlines for centuries.

This popular of holidays celebrated in America that is not specifically of American origin. Millions of Germans immigrants and their descendents live in the United States, many of them congregated in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Oktoberfest is a celebration that comes from the region of Bavaria, in Germany. It’s a celebration known for beer and good times. Today, countries around the world, from Asia to Africa, celebrate their own versions of the original German holiday. Oktoberfest celebrations can be found in most communities throughout the United States every year, and such celebrations can be scheduled anywhere from June to November, though as the name implies, they are generally celebrated in the month of October. In the United States, the majorities of Oktoberfest celebrations occur in September or October and are typically sponsored and organized by German restaurants or societies. While many celebrations of Oktoberfest can last for several days, or even a week, most such celebrations in the United States last about three days. Some Oktoberfest events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and participants from around the country.

At an Oktoberfest celebration, visitors and revelers are regaled with the sights and sounds of Germany, including music, traditional costumes and food. The beer and food is what Oktoberfest is mostly known for in the United States. Thousands of pounds of pork sausages, pork knuckles, fish and chicken are consumed every year at every Oktoberfest event throughout America, as well as millions of gallons of various types of beer, including non-alcoholic beer. Barrels of wine, coffee and tea, in addition to lemonade and water are served at Oktoberfest celebrations around the country, but it is the beer that is the star of the show. It’s a time for dancing and music, for food and drink.

But what is Oktoberfest? Many people who attend an Oktoberfest celebration haven’t the faintest idea of what they’re celebrating, but they do enjoy the laughter, entertainment and a rich variety of ethnic German cooking. Actually, Oktoberfest originally celebrated the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became a king, to Princess Therese in October of 1810. Inhabitants of Munich, Germany, were invited to join the celebration in the fields before the city gates to help observe the happy occasion. Those fields are still known today as Theresienwiese, or ‘Theresa’s Fields’, though they are more commonly called Wies’n now. At any rate, special events were held to entertain both the royal couple and the celebrants, including horse races and plenty of food and drinks for all. The event was held the following year as well, and for decades after, though most of those celebrations offered merely horse races and food. Later years saw the added attractions of carousels and swings for the amusement of children amusement, and in 1896, beer tents that offered the latest and newest beers from local breweries replaced the first beer stands. By the mid 1800’s, the festival took on new form with a fair type environment. While the horse races stopped, they were replaced with fair-type booths and entertainments until the 1870’s. Today, Oktoberfest is the largest ‘party’ in the world and millions of travelers and visitors visit the Bavarian city of Munich every year to celebrate the event that has lasted for centuries. The event, still held in Theresa’s fields, draws many different races and cultures to a country steeped in history and traditions that have been passed down for generations. For Americans who celebrate the event in the United States, it’s a time to appreciate and learn about a different culture and way of life, one that will endure in this country as long as there are Germans to celebrate Oktoberfest!


A Brief History of Valentine’s Day & Ideas for Personalized Clothing

VdayLove is in the air every February, especially leading up to February 14th, officially recognized as Valentine’s Day in the United States and throughout much of the world. It’s a day for romance and the expression of love in many shapes and forms. It’s a day for candy and flowers, for heartfelt sentiments and dreams of finding true love.

Several legends exist which claim to know how the exchange of love tokens and words became known as Valentine’s Day. The first is that during the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds would first find a mate for spring around the middle of February. Others go back even further, to the times of the ancient Romans and Greeks. In one Roman festival and feast, the names of young women and men were placed in a container. The name of one man would be drawn, followed by the name of a woman to whom he was destined to protect for the following year. He wore her name on his sleeve and she became his valentine. This custom generally took place on February 14th.

As time progressed, the exchange of gifts was added to the drawing of names, and later still, it was the male who presented the female with gifts. From this came a custom of sending a greeting or small gifts. Others believe that the celebration was created to honor St. Valentine, a priest who served at a temple in the time of the Roman emperor Claudius. He was very popular, and after the emperor declared that no more marriages were to be performed due to his needs for men in the military, St. Valentine nevertheless continued to unite young couples in the holy state of matrimony. St. Valentine was thrown into prison, where he died, but his spirit to help young couples in love lives on to this day.

The first postal services in the American colonies were inundated with such greetings and cards on February 14th, and over the years the tradition grew until local businesses began to carry collections of pre-designed cards for the young people to purchase for a penny. In the Victorian era, Valentine’s Day became quite the rage, with elaborate cards and parties designed to keep the youth entertained. In the United States, Valentine’s Day has always offered quite a challenge to the postal service, and in the early 1900’s, over a million Valentine greetings were mailed. Candy favors made an appearance soon after, and young suitors offered their ladies sweet concoctions designed to melt their hearts and flowers to encourage their spirits toward the return of such affections. Today, school children as well as adults traditionally exchange Valentine cards, sweets and flowers in tokens of love and affection that has not waned since the first Valentine’s Day was celebrated. Red hearts and white lace doilies make an appearance in supermarkets and card stores throughout the country well before the date, as do tokens of affection such as stuffed animals and trinkets designed to bring a smile to lovers everywhere.

Many American towns and cities host Valentine’s parties and get-togethers, complete with decorations, beverages and foods from all over the world. Valentine’s Day in America is a time to cherish those close to your heart. It’s a time when matchmaking between couples heats up, as do blind dates and others in search of their soul mate. Valentine’s Day is a time for couples and those hoping to find their better half, and Cupid and his arrows aimed at the hearts of unsuspecting, but potential, lovers, flit around with reckless abandon. Valentine’s Day is set aside for romance and togetherness between couples of all ages, a day when love is truly in the air.

One way to show off or express your love for someone or something is by creating personalized clothing and wearing a custom t-shirt or custom thong if you dare.   It is super easy to just add whatever text or images you want to a product. If you don’t feel like you have the creative power to design or personalize a product you can also shop pre-designed Valentine’s Day T-Shirts and see if you can find the design right for you or your loved one.