Leaves are just beginning to turn here, although we've had so much rain I hope they will not just be brown and ugly.  I plan on convincing my roommate, who being from a south-western state has never seen autumn's colors in real life, to take a drive in Shenandoah National Park when the leaves are at their peak beauty.

It felt like October earlier this week, with temperatures in the mid-50's to low 60's, but now it has warmed up again.  To celebrate this month, the college hosted its annual Oktoberfest, celebrating the German culture with food and music, and of course, a dance.  This is Christendom, after all!

The first original Oktoberfest was a celebration in Munich of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, later King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12 October 1810.  Christendom has been hosting its own Oktoberfest for over 30 years.  I particularly enjoyed this evening since I have a substantial amount of German and Swiss-German blood in my veins.

Part of the annual celebration for us is the singing of a Bavarian hymn, a prayer for the land and its people.  Bavaria is especially honored for being the well-loved home of our dear Pope Benedict XVI.  One of the professors always rounds up a group of students to 1. learn how to pronounce German correctly (a challenge in itself) and 2. sing the hymn at dinner.  I decided to join the choir, and it certainly was loads of fun!  As soon as I manage to find it and figure out the technicalities, I will post the video of our song.  In the meantime, here are pictures from Oktoberfest dinner and contra dance.

Rosemary and I drinking our soda in a traditional, friendly German toast.  I did Rosemary's braids and bun, and she did a similar hairstyle on me, so we both looked very German.  Braids were quite the thing at Oktoberfest, although there was some debate as to whether they were technically German or Dutch braids.  We girls decided that no matter what they were, we enjoyed playing with hair!

My dress was made by my grandma about 30 years.  It's not strictly German, but fit the part and I love wearing it.  However, the sleeves and armholes plus its age made it unwieldy for dancing in, especially contra.  Therefore, I switch costumes between dinner and the dance.  One of our professor's wives owns a large collection of extremely well-made Austrian dresses, which she lets the girls borrow over Oktoberfest.

Monica and I thoroughly enjoyed our costumes.  The SAC did a lovely job decorating St. Lawrence Commons, with heraldic shields, German flags and emblems, and the Bavarian colors, blue and white.  The dance was well attended and loads of fun - several new dances along with the old standbys.  My brain is beginning to melt, and I'm panicking about midterms next week, so I'll finish off with a final picture of the Nine-Pin Reel.  God bless!