6: My parents’ Oktoberfest-themed birthday bash

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My family

Contrary to popular belief, Germans do not run around in Dirndls and Lederhosen on a daily basis, not even in Bavaria. So this is not a picture of how we usually dress. However, as it has become popular in other countries, September and October are the months of Oktoberfest-themed parties everywhere. 

So my parents got with the program and organized their birthday party Oktoberfest-style. I mean, the food alone is reason enough, but my parents also asked guests to dress up in Bavarian-style clothing.


I personally don’t own a Dirndl, but I got lucky as my sister had bought a new one and said that I would probably fit into her old one. (True. It’s nice to be able to share a closet with your sister.) I was also surprised to see how many of the guest also follow suit and showed up in Dirndls and Lederhosen. 

The party was on October 3, which is a public holiday in Germany, so we started the celebrations at 11 in the morning. As you do.

We were super-lucky with the weather, as it rained most days when we were in Germany. My parents had set up a pop-up canopy tent in the backyard, hoping we could make use of the extra space and luckily, it was mostly dry and sunny on the day of the party.

My parents didn’t want any gifts, as they’re planning to come visit us here in California again next year with my sister, BIL, and the kids. But nevertheless, my sister and I organized a little “presentation” that included a few games and gifts pertaining to the US-trip that they’re planning for next summer. (Honestly, I cannot wait to have them back here in California.)

The whole day was a lot of fun, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

70 Geburtstag Moni und Peter-50
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70 Geburtstag Moni und Peter-52



70 Geburtstag Moni und Peter-57 


We were about 35 people and the whole day was full of good food, conversation, love and laughter. We had a blast and Jon and I were so happy we could be part of it. 

70 Geburtstag Moni und Peter-42

  1. So fun! What a wonderful celebration! I love that many wore costumes – makes it even more festive! I’ve always been a bit confused by Oktoberfest because it seems like the main celebration, like in Munich, is in September… I would think Oktoberfest would take place during October so I’ve never understood why it’s over 2 months?

    My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this December. They did not want a big party so instead all of us kids/grandkids are going to a resort in Northern Minnesota. There was a lot of drama coming up with this plan as some of my siblings are, well, difficult. I would like to plan some sort of special gift for them but after the backlash I received over sending an email to pick out a weekend to go to the resort, I can’t bring myself to send an email to the group to plan a gift. (some of my siblings got upset that I sent the email because they thought I was taking it upon myself to decide how to celebrate my parents anniversary – even though I cc’d my mom and specifically said that this is how mom and dad want to celebrate their anniversary). Man, big family dynamics are VERY hard at times!

    1. Hey, don’t let any Bavarian hear you called their traditional clothing “costumes”, they take the outfits very seriously (and they real ones are expensive!)… LOL… although I know many people do wear them as kind of a costume! ;)

      The Oktoberfest goes back to the 18th century and originally it only lasted 5 days (which were in October) as a wedding celebration for then-Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig. Over time, the annual celebrations were extended (now lasting about 16 days) and moved back into September, because the days were longer and warmer. Oktoberfest always ends on the first weekend of October.

      I am sorry to hear that you had such drama with your siblings when you were planning your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. You’d think they wouldn’t make it so difficult (especially if you’re parents are in on the plan and I think a family getaway to a resort is such a great idea to celebrate!). I hope you’ll have a great weekend together and nobody will create more drama over it.

  2. I love this! The costumes are amazing and the spread looks fabulous!

    1. Thank you! It was a fabulous day and we had SO MUCH FOOD! ;)

  3. What a fun family event! I love that everyone dressed in appropriate attire! I’m still so glad you were able to be there for this birthday celebration!

  4. Lovely, San! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome and thank you :)

  5. You kind of fed the stereotype of German=Bavarian :)
    Glad you had fun and could spend much needed time with family and friends.

  6. I love this so much! There’s a lot of German culture in Cincinnati, so they definitely do Oktoberfest big. I love that so many people wore the clothes – that’s too fun! I’m glad you were able to make it to the party, and I’m sure having your family visit YOU next year will be awesome!


    1. Thanks Lauren. It was really a lot of fun and it was awesome that so many people came in Dirndl and Lederhosen! I didn’t know many people would have them in their closets!

  7. This was so fun to read! My dad’s side of the family is German, as I think I’ve told you, and I really need to make a trip to Germany and actually experience a large part of my culture! I love all the traditional outfits – you all looked so great!! I’m really glad you could be there for this anniversary. :)

    1. I think you’d love Germany, Steph! Now that you’ve ventured out to bigger cities and Ireland, I am sure you can put Germany on your travel list :)

  8. I love it! My first husband, and father of my sons, was born in Germany to American parents (Dad was military), and he had the most adorable toddler Lederhosen, which got passed to my sons. Of course, they were taken back after the divorce and he wanted his younger sons w/second wife to have them, too. I think my sons will get them back if they have sons, and pass around to other sons in the family, and so forth.

    1. Oh, that it so cool….. I had (red) Lederhosen as a kid too. I should ask my Mom if she still has them… but I agree, your sons should definitely hold on to theirs and pass them on! :)

  9. Oh San this looks like a wonderful day and I am happy for you and Jon that you were able to be there and share the memory. How great that your family is coming to visit next year.

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