Top 10 Holidays to Have a Beer (Part 2 of 2)

February 17, 2009 by Seth  
Filed under Culture, Featured

#5 – Festivus (Dec. 23rd)


A holiday that gets most of it’s origin from the TV series Seinfeld. Writer Daniel O’Keefe introduced the world to Festivus during the episode “The Strike” in 1997. The holiday is a reaction to the mass commercialism of the holiday season. With aluminum poles, feats of strength, and airing of grievances this holiday is an excellent way to celebrate the previous year. Festivus is celebrated traditionally on Dec. 23rd, allowing everyone to share in celebration before joining with family for other holiday celebrations. Have a brew and possibly you too will have a Festivus miracle!

#4 – Saint Arnold’s Feast Day (July 8th)

St. Arnold

“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.”

The research covering holidays connected to brew had some major gaps in historical ties. I had originally planned on finding some very obscure holidays (there are plenty, such as Talk Like a Pirate Day), but ran into some roadblocks. Most brew holidays just did not have the credentials to be considered a legitimate holiday. Then I came across good old Saint Arnold, the patron saint of breweries and hop-pickers.

There are some holes in the story of Saint Arnold, but it is generally agreed he was a monk living in France around 1000 AD. Eventually he rose to the rank of Bishop and was challenged by another for the title. Instead of fighting, Arnold retired and returned to the monastery where he became a brewer. He then encouraged people to drink beer rather than water, which ran risk of carrying disease. One of his many miracles occurred as the people were carrying his body to the cemetery. It is said that the group of people stopped at a pub for a brew, but were dismayed to find only one glass of beer available. The mug lasted for the entire crowd, and everyone was able to have their “fill”. This is what holidays are built around: history and miracles.

Read more on Saint Arnold at:

#3 – St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17th)
St. Patty's!

Another cultural holiday that has emerged as an American celebration. St. Patrick’s day started in Ireland and is the annual feast day for St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. As immigrants came to the United States the holiday became a celebration in areas with large populations of Irish. Most people think of green beer when they think of St. Patrick’s Day, simply normal beer colored with green dye. Many urban areas across the country have parades to celebrate, as well as many brewpubs offering a great variety of green beer, Guinness-like stouts, and Irish whiskey. Cozy up with a nice cold green beer, because on this day, everyone has a little Irish in them.

#2 – Oktoberfest (September 19th – October 4th)


Earlier I mentioned that it was tough to judge cultural holidays because of how they are represented across different regions in the United States. Cinco de Mayo is just starting to be celebrated where I live (Kansas). Oktoberfest on the other hand, has been part of Kansas history since it became a state in 1861. Most of the immigrants to Kansas were of German, Czech or Bohemian ancestry. In fact, up until World War I, half of the papers printed in Kansas were printed in German.

Oktoberfest is a sixteen day long party in which Germans basically celebrate being German. Large portions of food. Larger portions of beer. A visitor once commented that Munich during Oktoberfest was “the happiest place on earth”. The traditional beer for Oktoberfest is actually brewed in March and is called Marzen (German for March). Oktoberfest is meant to be celebrated as a community, so find a local town or group that puts an annual festival, and celebrate like you’re in a Hacker-Festzelt (Oktoberfest tent).

#1 – Repeal Day (Dec. 5th)
Repeal Day

A stirring day that should live in history for all Americans, not just beer lovers. Dec. 5th, 1933 the government and people of the United States realized they had made a big mistake in banning the sale of alcohol. The rise of organized crime and tough economic times helped legalize the ability for the common Joe to enjoy a nice brew after work. Repeal Day has all the benchmarks of the ideal beer drinker’s holiday: a reason to celebrate, historical and governmental ties, the revitalization of an industry which had almost disappeared, an announcement to the world that the US would no longer over look the wants of it’s average working citizen. Some states continued to enforce Prohibition to different extents. In Kansas for example, Prohibition was created in 1881 and did not fully end until after WWII. Prior to Prohibition, Kansas had over 90 breweries ( which catered to a mostly German population. On Dec. 5th celebrate the freedoms you have in America by remembering the tragedy that our ancestors fought to end.

Read more on Repeal Day at: or

Just missing the list: Earth Day, April Fool’s Day, National Beerpong Day, National Beer Day (Iceland)

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