Beers & Fears: Why October is the Party Month
The traditions of Oktoberfest and Halloween both started in the Northern Hemisphere, but they fall at the perfect time for celebrating south of the equator! Winter is over and the weather is warming up, so October is a great time of year to be out partying. Find inspiration for your Oktoberfest and Halloween costumes right here!
Oktoberfest is an annual festival in Munich that originated in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of the Bavarian crown prince, who went on to become King Ludwig I. Everyone in the area was invited to join the celebration, which centred around a horserace and a large feast. It became an annual event with stands of food and drinks, then became an event sponsored by the 6 major breweries in Munich.
The modern Oktoberfest celebrations run for 2 weeks, ending on the first Sunday in October. It is a celebration of the food, drink and culture of the region, drawing around 6 million visitors each year. In 2022 the celebrations were back after a 2-year hiatus. They served 5.6 million litres of beer during the event. It didn’t surpass the record of 7.5 million litres from the 2011 event (still listed in the Guinness World Records as the largest beer festival consumption record), but they sure gave it a crack!
Around the world, it has become a reason to celebrate Bavarian culture and beer, throughout October. The most common outfits associated with Bavaria and Oktoberfest are lederhosen for the men and a “dirndl” dress for the women. The dirndl is usually a white blouse, coloured dress and an apron over the top. Our Beer Buddy Piggyback costume is also a huge hit for Oktoberfest celebrations.
Most people associate Halloween with the North American tradition of trick-or-treating and decorating houses with cobwebs and pumpkins. It actually began as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, around 2000 years ago. It was a celebration of the end of Harvest and the onset of Winter. They believed that the boundary between worlds was thinnest on this night and so they held bonfires and gave sacrifices to Celtic deities.
This festival later added in two Roman festivals, one commemorating the dead, called Feralia, and the other in honour of the goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona. This was then combined with the Christian celebration of All Saint’s Day, where people commonly dressed up as saints, angels and devils. These traditions were then taken to America and made into the family-friendly community events we know today.
While it’s not Autumn here when Halloween is celebrated, we still follow many of the traditions, like carving pumpkins and eating toffee apples. The autumn colours of orange, red and yellow are also often found in the decorations here, despite the Spring weather.
Why do people have such fun on Halloween?
A lot of people find Halloween celebrations freeing. By embracing their fears, of everything from spiders and bats to ghosts and horror movies, we make ourselves feel stronger. It’s also a chance to wear a costume that may otherwise seem out of character. Whether it’s dressing in a style or colour that’s completely unexpected, or embracing your villainous side just for one day, there’s lots of fun to be had dressing up for Halloween.
So, grab a costume and host a Halloween party for your family and friends! There are also a number of community events to celebrate Halloween, so check what’s happening in your local area. If your street has trick-or-treating, why not pop on a costume and join in the fun? Little trick-or-treaters will be delighted to receive treats from a wicked witch, or Bandit from Bluey.
There are plenty of costumes to choose from, for kids, teens, and adults, at Costume World NZ!
- Biz Wisdom