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    Whether you come from a German background or just love to celebrate all things Deutschland - you don’t have to make it all the way to Germany to participate in some of the world’s largest Oktoberfest celebrations. From Brazil to Hong Kong, people with German roots are celebrating their heritage. Grab a tasty weisswurt with sauer kraut, don your lederhosen and check out these celebrations around the globe:

    Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

    North America’s largest Oktoberfest is held in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, just an hour outside of Toronto, Canada.1 Residents of Kitchener and Waterloo have deep German roots and many still speak German in the area. Kitchener was originally named Berlin, so it makes sense that Oktoberfest is largely celebrated.2 The festival attracts over one million visitors annually and includes concerts such as "Rocktoberfest" and "Hip-Hoptoberfest".

    Malloco, Chile

    Celebrate Oktoberfest, or Fiesta de la Cerveza, in Malloco, Chile. Due to a mass German immigration that began in 1848, multiple Oktoberfest celebrations are held throughout Chile. The festival in Malloco serves food from a local German restaurant called Der Münchner.

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    If you’re looking for the largest Oktoberfest in the U.S., look no further than the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati celebration.3 First celebrated in 1976, Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest has grown to attract over 500,000 annual visitors. Each year the festival hosts the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, often led by famous faces. In 2000 the dance was led by Davy Jones of The Monkees and in 2011 it was led by Baseball Hall of Fame legend, Joe Morgan.4

    Blumenau, Brazil

    The world’s second largest Oktoberfest celebration is held in Blumenau, Brazil. First held in 1984 over 102,000 people attended the first festival, which at the time accounted for more than half the population of the city.5 The Brazilian Oktoberfest celebrates the folklore, memory and tradition of German heritage with music, dance, and cuisine that preserves the customs of their ancestors from Germany.

    Hong Kong

    The largest, longest-running Oktoberfest in Asia is the Marco Polo German Bierfest. Held overlooking the Victoria Harbour, thousands gather to celebrate German heritage. The festival lasts 23 days, which is even longer than the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.6 In 2011 the Marco Polo German Bierfest saw 50,000 guests and served 30,000 pieces of pretzel!7

    Sources:
    1: http://www.oktoberfest.ca/page.php?cnt=ourstory
    2: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-cities-in-the-world-for-oktoberfest-2012-9?op=1
    3: http://www.cincinnatiusa.com/Attractions/detail.asp?AttractionID=359&Attraction=Oktoberfest+Zinzinnati+USA
    4: http://www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com/okt.aspx?menu_id=256&id=8478
    5: http://www.oktoberfestblumenau.com.br/oktoberfest/historia
    6: http://travel.cnn.com/hong-kong/drink/oktoberfest-hong-kong-099266
    7: http://www.gbfhk.com/aj-funfacts.php

    Air Travel Etiquette

    Story 2 Image September

    Air travel can be stressful even when everything goes right. But sometimes, it’s not delayed flights that can be most annoying; sharing the tight quarters of airplane seating with a stranger can be unpleasant, especially when your seat mate has no regard for those around them. Follow these travel etiquette tips to ensure you’re a pleasant seat mate, and hopefully those seated next to you will do the same:

    Boarding
    Airlines board passengers according to their seat or zone. There’s a reason airlines assign boarding orders; it helps with the flow of people and helps with maintaining an orderly boarding process. Additionally, those boarding first may have paid for the privilege so it’s only fair to honor it.

    Store Items
    There is limited space in overhead compartments, and that space is supposed to be reserved for items that don’t fit underneath the seat in front of you. If you have a small carry-on or purse, do your fellow flight mates a favor and store it under the seat. This way you’ll leave more space available to those who need the overhead bin and you’ll have the benefit of being able to retrieve it during times when seatbelts must remain fastened and you must remain seated.

    Before You Recline
    One of the most heated debates of air travel is whether or not you should recline your seat when someone is behind you. While you have the right to do so, it can invade the space of the person behind you and make that person’s trip miserable. If you do want to recline whether for sleep or comfort – just give your seat mate behind you a head’s up. Let them know you are going to recline so they have time to move any items if needed, like a cup of water that could spill or a laptop that could get hit.

    Volume
    Be aware of the volume on your electronic devices. Even when you’ve got your headphones plugged in, if the volume is loud your seat mates may be able to hear it.

    Scent Free
    You never know who will end up seated next to you, and they may not have a tolerance for strong perfumes or lotions. For some, strong scents can bring on headaches or migraines. Bring unscented lotions for the plane or hold off until you’ve disembarked to use your scented products.

    Disembarking
    When the plane finally lands and taxis to your gate, it can be tempting to grab your things and rush off the plane to get to your destination. If everyone did this, it would be extremely chaotic trying to disembark. Allow those people in rows in front of you to leave first; it’s the courteous thing to do and it allows everyone to exit in an orderly fashion.

    Moving Sidewalks
    Many airports have them; they can provide a much needed reprieve for tired feet or speed up your stride if you’re in a rush. Almost all moving sidewalks display the sign (or something similar) “walk on the left, stand on the right”. For travelers trying to whiz by and catch their next flight it can be frustrating to find someone standing in the center with their luggage by their side, seemingly oblivious they are holding up traffic. Follow the guidelines of the walking sidewalk, or at the very least be aware of your surroundings if someone needs to get by.

    Where in the World?


    Where in the World September

    Where in the world can you find this beautiful castle?

    Answer:
    This is Sanssouci Castle found in Potsdam, Germany. It was designed as a summer palace for Frederick the Great and the name itself means “without cares”.1

    Sources:
    1: http://www.hotelclub.com/blog/the-7-most-beautiful-castles-in-germany/

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