Celebrating Oktoberfest with Friends and Neighbors

Cecile and I celebrated Oktoberfest at the Clubhouse at Rinconada Hills with our friends and neighbors: Susan and Nelson Bye and Gretchen and Bruce Preville. This is one of several theme dinners organized by the Social Commiitee throughout the year. We had Beer Poached German Sausages with Sauerkraut, Roasted Chicken with Berry Compote, German Potato Salad Mixed Green Salad, German Pancakes with Apple Sauce and New York Cheesecake from one of the bakeries in Santa Rosa that survived the North Bay fires. The main feeling at the table was one of gratitude. Each of us had recently returned from our respective trips both here and abroad and had a lot to be grateful for.

In its 206-year history, Oktoberfest has become the king of all folk festivals, which is ironic when you consider its royal origin. It's a tradition that began on October 12, 1810, to celebrate the 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, to the Saxon-Hildrughausen Princess Therese. All of Munich was invited.

More than 6 million people from around the world attend the event In Munich every year, where 1.5 gallons of beer are consumed. It is the city’s most profitable attraction. Starting in 1950, up to current time, the opening ceremonies begins with a 12-gun salute following by the ceremonial tapping of the first keg.
Though Cecile and I had attended Oktoberfest in Munich many years ago, these days you don’t need to fly to Germany to partake in the festivities. In one form or another, cites from around the world celebrate the event.

According to the Jerusalem post, thousands of Palestinians, Israeli Jews, US citizens, Japanese tourists just celebrated “Palestinian Oktoberfest” held in the Christian village of Taybeth—also the name of the beer which means “tasty” in Arabic. The Israeli Jews seen sipping the honey-colored Palestinian beer, were a welcome change for some, considering the many years of bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Once the beer began to flow, though, their differences began to wash away. “Cheers! Let’s toast to peace!” said Nadia Khoury, the town’s 52 year old US-Educated mayor.
Amen to that!

Postscript Trivia:

My namesake, St. Augustine of Hippo, who practiced the art of brewing in his early years is considered the ”Patron Saint of Beer.” He underwent a transformation from a wild and significant consumer of beer to a life of moderation before becoming a bishop. 

Credit Source for the Palestinian Oktoberfest: The Jerusalem Post, October 23, 1917

Photo Credit (Mugs): Stephanie Fly Photography
Last photo: With Dee, our friend, neighbor and yoga classmate at Bay Club Courtside.