Taybeh “Oktoberfest” celebrated September 8th and 9th

Posted on Sep 10, 2018

Religious leaders offered blessings at the opening of the annual Taybeh Oktoberfest which celebrated the fall harvest and the local economy of the Palestinians living in one of Palestine’s few Christian hubs. The annual festival is popular among Christian Palestinians, and also many Muslims show support.

By Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Emeritus Michel Sabbah

You are asking me to attend a beer festival?

Yes, your Beatitude, with all due respect, it is not just a beer festival; it will mean the whole world to me if you please come give Taybeh your blessing for this unique event.

But, patriarchs do not attend beer festivals!

Okay. However, it is critical that we have your blessing for this strange way in which we promote the heritage and culture of a village that is one of the most ancient places in Palestine: Biblical Ephraim. Of course you know it was the last stop our Lord Jesus made before His glorious entry into Jerusalem. Please, Your Beatitude, I need you to be at the opening reception for the 2018 Taybeh Oktoberfest at the Taybeh Golden Hotel.

Bishop Mounib Younan, retired Lutheran bishop of Jerusalem

Needless to say, not too many patriarchs showed up in Taybeh for the opening of the 14th Annual Taybeh Oktoberfest, but our most favorite patriarch certainly did come. It has been a tradition, throughout many years, that if His Beatitude, the former Patriarch of Jerusalem, Msgr. Michel Sabbah, is in the country, most likely he will offer the prayer at the Taybeh Oktoberfest as he has done since 2005. He also happens to be the most famous resident of Taybeh. His Beatitude, who served in Jerusalem from 1987 to 2008, was the first non-Italian to hold this position in more than five centuries. What a great blessing this continues to be for Taybeh! I am personally grateful for this critical support.

We had a double blessing His Grace Bishop Mounib Younan, retired Lutheran bishop of Jerusalem, accompanied the Patriarch. We are so happy some of the bishops find it worthy to grant us their blessing.

Some people have referred to the Taybeh Oktoberfest as the “Highlight of Palestine,” but actually for others, it has been an interesting and practical event to gather a multicultural audience meaning Christians, Muslims, Jews, locals, internationals, and secular people. Today, more than twenty ambassadors, consul generals and representatives of different countries to the Palestine Authority showed up in Taybeh. They came from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Lithuania, Switzerland, Romania, and many other ountries. There was an amazing performance by the Hungarian Band, Live Act Folk and wonderful guitar music by Aldo from Brazil while a young Taybeh vocalist, Naheel Munther Hanna sang a beautiful song for Jerusalem. All in all, with new artists such as Bashar Murard and Ghazall band from Nazareth, the local Palestinian dance seems to be the most popular among American Embassy staff visiting with all of their armored jeeps and strict security.

Hope you visit Taybeh one day too. Cheers!