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Here’s What You Need To Know About Oktoberfest

Historic Oktoberfest Costume

The classic dress such as lederhosen, over the knee leather pants, and traditional head wear are all on full display during the costume parade. Source: AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

As temperatures begin to cool and daylight hours start to dwindle, there is little better way to send summer off than by sipping a cold beer with family and friends. But what if we told you that what we recognize as Oktoberfest, the German festival which does just that and then some, was not exactly meant to last more than one week?

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Hope Among “The World’s Greatest Heap Of Debris”

Highwire Over Cologne 1946

World War II ravaged Cologne, Germany, destroying infrastructure, dozens of landmarks and–perhaps the hardest to rebuild–a sense of cultural substance.

After the war, sights like the one above–a woman walking a high-wire–were not uncommon, and were meant to offer those living within Cologne a brief reprieve from their quite literally ruined reality.

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Sick Of The 40-Hour Work Week? Try Life In Germany And France

Hours Worked USA France Germany

As the United States continues to cling to the 40-hour work week, German and French work weeks offer an apt example of how less really can be more. While Germany called for austerity for most of the Euro zone, it continued to offer unparalleled worker protections and shorter working hours than most of their counterparts.

During the global economic crisis, Germany pushed for employers to reduce hours instead of laying off workers. The policy, known as Kurzarbeit, also stipulated that the German government would partially reimburse workers for wages lost. In Germany, for example, employees work an average of 35 hours per week, with an average of 24 paid vacation days.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXVIII

Rocket Festival Light

Source: The Atlantic

Inside The Vrontados Rocket War

Rocket Festival Field

Source: The Atlantic

What’s religion without a little ritualistic conflict? Taking place in Vrontados, Greece over the past 125 years, two Greek Orthodox Churches have engaged in what is known as Rouketopolemos, or a “rocket war”. The rival churches celebrate by firing thousands of homemade rockets toward one another while holding church services across town. The goal, apparently, is to strike the bell of the opposing church. And remember, this is supposed to be “fun”. Check out more photos at The Atlantic.

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