September 23rd marks the beginning of Autumn for North America and others in the northern hemisphere. Historically known as the Harvest season this, my favorite time of year, brings with it apples, pumpkins, spooks, crackling fires and crunching leaves. The smells that abound this time of year are one of the things that draw me in and make me wish it was fall all year round. So where do some of our traditions for the fall come from? Bonfires, chestnuts, mustaches and Oktoberfest are all traditions from around the world that citizens of the United States have adopted.
Bonfires are said to come from as far back at 1605 when a group of Catholics conspired to assassinate the King James I, the Protestant monarch of England, and place a Catholic upon the throne. Guy Fawkes was guarding a stockpile of gunpowder that was to be used to blow up parliament and kill the king. He was arrested in early November and the plot to kill the king was thwarted. On November 5th the British celebrate Guy Fawkes Night by lighting bonfires and burning effigies of Fawkes.
Roasted Chestnuts come from Provence’s town of Collobrières, the so-called Chestnut Capital of the World, locals and visitors alike celebrate the annual chestnut harvest every October with a festival devoted to all things chestnut (think: pies, preserves, and marron glacés, or candied chestnuts).
The tradition of Movember started in Australia in 2003 when two friends came up with the idea to grow mustaches as a fundraiser for a charity. They convinced 30 of their friends to grow mustaches which grew to 500 Australians in 2004. Movember has spread to other countries including New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
Oktoberfest started in 1810 as a royal wedding celebration for a Bavarian prince and his princess, Oktoberfest has grown into an international fall festival, with events taking place every September to October in cities around the world. With dancing, frivolity and beer, this tradition is one of the best festivals of Fall.
Phrog and Munkey are hosting Oktoberfest at the Ranch. Come join us for a work weekend, beer tasting and some great German food.
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