Literally: “mountain celebration” / meaning: middle point of a period of time
For the Oktoberfest, Germans have to wait a whole year. So it helps a lot that there is a festivity that they can celebrate every week, all without being forced to wear Dirndl and Lederhosen and without paying 13.60 euros for a beer.
A Bergfest is what German call the midpoint of a period of time that is usually considered exhausting, depriving or otherwise unpleasant. The term implies that the second part of a route is less strenuous—just as in mountain climbing, where after reaching the top, the descent is downhill. So if you are one of the 23 percent of Germans who go to work without a lot of motivation, your canteen schnitzel might taste particularly good on Wednesday lunchtime. Because then, you eat it with the good feeling that you’re celebrating Bergfest and that half of the workweek is already behind you.
The Bergfest has a special significance in the German Bundeswehr, where recruits celebrate extensively when they have completed half of their term of service. Also, in German film productions, there is often a Bergfest after 50 percent of the shooting has been completed. Rumor has it that they drink not much less there than at the Oktoberfest.