By Rosie Moore

October is the tenth month of the year in the  Julian and Gregorian calendars and has thirty-one days. It retained its name from the Latin word, octo, meaning eight, after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had been originally created by the Romans. Hallowe’en is at the end of this golden month but Oktoberfest  brings in the month in late September and lasts well into the first Sunday of October. Here is the story of the first Oktoberfest:

Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis 1 of Bavaria, married Princess Therese Von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian  royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named theresienwiese–”Therese’s fields”– in honor of the crown princess. Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event.

The decision to repeat the festivities and the horse races in the subsequent year    gave rise to the  tradition of the annual Oktoberfest. Alcohol consumption is an important part of the modern festival and more than one million gallons of beer are consumed annually at Oktoberfest.  Isn’t it interesting how some traditions got started?

I also think there is more poetry written about this golden month than any other month. I could be wrong but my favorite is “Autumn Leaves”. “Les fauilles mortes (literally ‘the dead leaves’) has the distinction of being the first sheet music with words. Marcel Carne decided to use it in a film and wanted it sung by Marlene Dietrich, who declined. In the movie it is played by the whole orchestra, then by a harmonica, then hummed and sung briefly by Yves Montand , then finishes as waltz played by the whole orchestra. The memorable French lyrics were written by Jacques Prevert. The song has been adapted into countless languages and sung by a wide variety of artists. It took some time, however, for it to become a hit in America.

“The falling leaves, drift by my window…

The autumn leaves of red and gold.

I see your lips, the summer kisses,

The sunburned hand I used to hold.

Since you went away, the days grow long

And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song.

But I miss you most of all, my darling,

When autumn leaves begin to fall.”

What a tribute to this golden month.

Thought for the day: It is not good for all our wishes to be filled.  Through sickness we recognize the value of health. through evil, the value of good, through hunger the value of food,  through exertion, the value of rest.   Greek saying.

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