October 7th Octoberfest

Well if you have been waiting all year to celebrate Octoberfest today is the last day of the 2 week festival so you’d better get busy! That means a lot of beer! This year it started on September 2nd and ends today, October 7th. (Ah, isn’t that more than two weeks?) Oh well, we are using the German calendar anyway.

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The celebration has spread all over the world but it is still a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghansen. (Personally I think she married him just to get a new name. I know I would!)  Their marriage was celebrated in the Munich area for two weeks.

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That was originally October 12th, 1810. Well, any reason for a good party I suppose. But it’s not all about beer. Everything you admire about Germany is celebrated during this festival. The food, the costumes and, of course, the beverages.

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The dates change. That must have really made it difficult on Ludwig to remember the anniversary of his marriage. Seriously though, the music and fun is worth the wait, whatever date it may be and if you do happen to have enough beer you won’t miss those two weeks anyway, even if they take a month or more to go by.

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And look at the really cool hats you get to wear too!

How to celebrate – Visit a German Octoberfest. Throw your own German festival. Have a beer and a pretzel.

September 27th World Tourism Day

September 27th World Tourism Day

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There is hardly a country in the world that does not benefit from tourism. Some do it better than others but it does seem to be an international piece of bread and butter.

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The day was created by the United Nations who select a theme for every year, this year’s theme being: “Protecting Culture and Heritage.” The best way to learn about a country is to understand where they came from and what formed them to who they are today.

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How to celebrate – Visit a country and study their culture and heritage. Research countries you want to learn more about. Plan a trip to visit several countries.

April 6th National Tartan Day

It seems like most countries in the world celebrate some sort of contact with the Scottish. America is no different, in fact many of our forefathers came from Scotland in an effort to start a new life away from the royalty of England. Now Scotland declared it independence  from England in 1320.

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Though they have never actually left the United Kingdom they did win a great deal if independence and set the format for the American Declaration of Independence. When we think of Scotland we more than likely think of bagpipes and kilts. Well kilts are made up of wool and patterned with different colors to make up a type of Crest for the family.

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Those colors represent the family instantly identifying the clan. You might think of it as a family uniform. Most colors are bright, though not all, giving a certain flare and pride to those that wear the tartan.

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The Highlands created many characters we all know today, probably the best known is the Highlander. (Well duh!) His character made the kilt (tartan) popular world-wide. Though it never went out of popularity in Scotland.  It still represents the clans of Scotland, but now it also represents pride in Scotland.

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One of the most famed military units in history is the Untied Kingdom’s Black Watch. Most of the unit comes from Scotland and a part of the uniform, even today, is the tartan giving them a clear identity in the field. The world has gained a lot from the Scottish people, inventions, foods and work ethic are only a few of them. But we know the Tartan probably the best of all.

How to celebrate – Check into your Scottish heritage. Find out is you have tartan colors for your family. Visit Scotland.

December 23rd Roots Day

Who are we really? Where do we come from? Do we have heroes in our past? Criminals? Assassins? Royalty? There was a story in my family about a member who lived in the UK as a farmer and came upon a Knight that had fallen from his horse and couldn’t get up because of the heavy armor. The farmer helped the Knight to his feet and a grateful King of England awarded him the title of the Earl of Nottingham. As the story continues, he became Robin Hood. I seriously doubt any of this happened, but it was written down in a book stating it from the 1600’s.

The other side of the family has always believed it came from Scotland and every indication was that it did… but the family crest and name comes from Germany. Does it make me any different? No. It does make me think, but that’s it.

Holding anybody accountable for past members of their family is ridiculous. Whatever those family members did, or didn’t do, has no bearing on you now. The world have evolved over the years, so have people, what our fore-fathers did, had to do and the mistakes they made have been corrected where they could be. To hold anyone accountable for the sins of their fathers is only showing the shortness of the sons.

It is fine to be proud of your heritage and in a few cases, it does make you who you are, what you own, how much money you have and titles you may hold… but it doesn’t make you who you are as a person. Remember that as you teach your way of life to your children.

How to celebrate – Study your genealogy. Give a heritage kit for Christmas. Never take yourself too seriously.