Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Attendees+made+flower+bouquets+as+part+of+Wednesday%E2%80%99s+Maifest+celebration.
Photo courtesy of Ingrid Zeller
Attendees made flower bouquets as part of Wednesday’s Maifest celebration.

Around 30 Northwestern community members attended the German Undergraduate Advisory Board and McCormick Global Initiatives’ Wednesday evening celebration of Maifest — a centuries-old German holiday commemorating the arrival of spring — in the Technological Institute. 

“It’s to uplift people’s spirits from a dry barren winter into a lively spring where flowers are out and the sun’s out more,” McCormick sophomore and GUAB incoming co-chair Sidney Robinson said.

GUAB members prepared a presentation on Maifest and German culture and served snacks like pretzels and cake. The group created flower bouquets to incorporate nature into the indoor event.

Weinberg junior and GUAB co-chair Mia Gleason said Wednesday marked her first time celebrating Maifest. She said it’s fun to see GUAB events come together as they typically commemorate holidays not widely celebrated in the United States. 

Robinson said Maifest was GUAB’s main Spring Quarter event and last of the academic year. She added that the group looks forward to its Oktoberfest celebration in the fall and its Fasching event in the winter. 

Although Robinson is a computer science student, she said the German department at NU is her favorite overall.

Weinberg sophomore and GUAB incoming co-chair Mia Perkins said there is a “vibrant community” of non-majors and majors alike who come together in the club to “share that love of language” and learning. 

She added that Maifest aimed to widen this community and deepen students’ connections, even for those who do not speak German. 

According to Perkins, the tradition has been celebrated annually at NU through GUAB’s event. 

“There’s been a lot of work that previous members who have graduated have also worked on,” Perkins said. “It’s nice to continue the legacy of the event throughout different generations at Northwestern.”

She added that students have often hosted the event out of their own volition. For her, events within the German department and broader classes have reconnected her with her German heritage.

Perkins also said GUAB members also had conversations about how to update the Maifest celebration to address current events and societal changes. 

Perkins said GUAB and the German department look to foster a welcoming environment where people can “dip their toes” into German heritage and culture. 

“What’s nice about it is that it is an enduring celebration and an enduring tradition,” she said. “There’s definitely a lot of continuity there as well. But (it’s) also really important to embrace change.” 

Jerry Wu contributed reporting.

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Twitter: @beatricedvilla

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