Today’s word is Oktoberfest. That is not a misspelling; for some reason, Germans insist on using a k.
Anyone clever enough to check the calendar will notice that today is September 18th. It should be called Septemberfest, because it takes place in this month every year. Either the usually precise Germans are trying to get head start on October, don’t own calendars, can’t wait to down huge quantities of beer, or are not bothered by the glitch.
I do not know the origin of this festival and am, once again, too lazy to consult Wikipedia. It could have something to do with the harvest of hops, which grow in vast fields outside Munich (bonus word: München). Or it could be to get a first taste of the year’s new batch of beer. They make a big deal of tapping the first keg. Normally, Germans never need a special occasion to drink large quantities of beer from huge steins, so perhaps it is merely a chance to parade through town in Lederhosen and Dirndl (bonus words 3 and 4!)
The festival lasts for 16 days, ending on October 2. Therefore, a better name might be Endet-Im-Okterberfest. (Not a bonus word, because it is not a word. Germans might not get dates correct, but language is very precise.)
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.