September 30, 2014
According to How Stuff Works, it’s unclear who started assigning gifts to each year, but there are plenty of theories. Just like most rumors, however, they’re difficult to verify with any certainty. “The most likely guess is that the gift list made its debut during the Victorian era in the United Kingdom during the 1800s, and then jumped across the pond to the United States in the early 20th century. Elaborate anniversary celebrations were fashionable back then, so gift-giving thrived as a result. To this day, both regions have their own list, although they’re almost identical in content.”
Everyone knows about the Silver and Gold Anniversaries (25th and 50th, respectively), but do you know about any of the others? These are my top four favorite anniversaries based on their related gifts—if you’re married and reach these milestones, make sure to celebrate!
1st – Clocks
Traditionally, the first anniversary gift is paper or cotton, but really—how boring are either of those? The librarians at the Chicago Public Library put together a modern list of gifts, and their choice for the first anniversary is clocks! Giving (or getting) a clock as a gift is a great way to remind your partner of all the good times you’ve had together… and all the good times in your future.
8th – Bronze/Salt
In the United States, eighth anniversary gifts are traditionally bronze; in the United Kingdom, they’re salt. Why not mix them and get some classy, hard-to-find pink salt and give it in a bronze container? That way, you can’t go wrong!
35th – Jade
Jade gets its name from the French-derived Spanish term that translates as “loin stone”—it was reputed to cure ailments related to the loin and kidneys. Usually, we think of jade in its traditional bright green, but it also comes in pink, lavender, orange, and brown, so you have some wiggle room if you don’t want to be like everyone else.
80th – Oak
If you get to your eightieth anniversary (like this amazing couple), congratulations! That’s an enormous feat by itself, no doubt. Like the oak trees of old, your relationship has weathered the test of time and survived. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Do you have a wedding anniversary coming up? Let me know in the comments if you’ll be using any of the gift lists—traditional or otherwise—floating around the internet for inspiration!
September 26, 2014
How much do you know about the non-beer parts of the greatest beerfest in the world? Munich in Bavaria, Germany, hosts the original and oldest Oktoberfest every year starting in the middle of September. While we in the United States celebrate the festival in October itself, in Germany the festival actually ends at the beginning of the tenth month. Visit Oktoberfest.de (also in German, of course) for more information, photos, and beer tent schedules in Munich. (By the way, if you’re skimming something in German and the text mentions “Oktoberfest in München” or “Münchner Oktoberfest” you’ve found the right festival! München in the German word for Munich.)
The Oktoberfest celebration began with a royal marriage. Crown Prince Ludwig of Königreich Bayern (“Kingdom of Bavaria”) married Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen (a duchy in what is now another part of modern Germany) on October 12, 1810, and Bavarians did what Bavarians are wont to do: they threw a party! That original celebration turned out so wunderbar (“wonderful”) that the Bavarians decided to do it again. And again! The folk festival expanded into two-and-a-half week long party that brings 7 million visitors to Munich every year. The 2010 celebration was the 200th anniversary of the original Oktoberfest and mini-festivals were recreated throughout the world in honor of the festival’s enduring legacy. If you want to find a beerfest near you and experience the local take on a German tradition, start here.
Want to dress up when you attend the nearest Oktoberfest celebration? Traditional garb is usually encouraged! Women and girls wear dirndl, from the word meaning “maid’s dress”, while men and boys can be seen in lederhosen, which means “leather breeches”. If you celebrate in style, let us know!
September 21, 2014
The 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards were less than a month ago—congratulations to the winners!—but did you know these three interesting but little-known facts about the “television Oscars”? Read on!
1. Speaking of Oscars…
The Academy Awards have won the most Emmys ever. Yes, really. In 2010, the tally for Emmy Oscar nominations was 195, of which the Academy won 46. Kind of strange that “one showbiz award is the winner of another”, isn’t it? The second place award for most Emmys won ever goes to Frasier, in case you were wondering. And, speaking of Frasier…
2. Dr. Frasier Crane is the only character ever to regularly appear in three different nominated shows
Kelsey Grammer performed as Dr. Fraiser Crane on Cheers, Wings, and Frasier. Cheers was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for every season that ever aired; it was even ranked number 18 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. Wings, also set in the Cheers universe (and, by extension, the Frasier universe) had a shorter run than either of the other two shows, but Grammer was still nominated in 1992 in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. (He lost that year to Craig T. Nelson of Coach.) Finally, Frasier was one of the most critically acclaimed comedy series of all time, not to mention one of the most successful spinoff series ever. It won Outstanding Comedy Series 5 (yes, five) times in a row starting in 1994.
3. When you win an Emmy, you have to buy it if you want to keep it
Seriously. Each Emmy statuette costs between $300 and $400 to make. They’re made of cheap materials (copper or nickel, for example) and then dipped in liquid gold. The two governing bodies of the Emmys pick fights with each other over which of their statuettes are worth more. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, based in Los Angeles, hosts the primetime Emmy Awards and claims that their statuettes are dipped in gold more times than the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, based in New York, which hosts the daytime Emmys. The production cost is then passed on to Emmy Award winners, who are required to buy the statuette if they’d like to keep it.
So, tell me: would you buy an Emmy statuette if you won an award? I probably would the first time, but what if I won five years in a row, like Frasier? I’d think long and hard about doling out $400 a pop four more times! Seems pretty tacky to make a winner buy his or her own statuette, though, doesn’t it?