Most people consider Oktoberfest to be the biggest drinking celebration in Germany. Often overlooked is the country's Father's Day celebrations.
Father's Day in UK is celebrated in much the same way as it is celebrated in US. In UK too, Father's Day festival is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and therefore the date of the festival is never fixed. People celebrate the occasion by honouring their father and expressing affection for them by presenting popular gifts like cards, flowers, chocolates and neckties. Little children often give handmade gifts to their dad.
Father’s day in Germany is so much more than gifting a necktie or chocolate. This public holiday is a day off work for everybody, and a chance for men to act like boys. Known as Vatertag (also Männertag), it involves drinking lots of beer, riding a beer bike, and eating lots of food.
Vatertag always falls on the same day as Ascension Day – the 40th day after Easter, and the day marking Jesus’ bodily ascent into heaven. This day is called die Himmelfahrt in German. Ascension Day is a public holiday, and because it is shared with Father’s Day, most men use it as an excuse to get together and consume lots of alcohol. This ‘joint celebration’ always falls on a Thursday, so lots of men take the following Friday off work as well – and enjoy a very long weekend!
It is said that the tradition of having Vatertag on the same day as die Himmelfahrt dates back to the 18th Century, when men would be seated in a wooden cart and carried into the town square. There, the mayor would present a prize to the man with the most children.
You can bring your father to the Octoberfest Pub to experience a traditional German Father’s day with a tasting of 8 different German beers along with traditional German food. If you really want to treat your father like a King, order the Lumber Jack’s platter, just be sure to bring along a lot of family members.
Octoberfest Pub, 678-680 Fulham Road, SW6 5SA – 02077 365293