Review of the 12th  ABS “Heurigen” Evening on Friday, 1 July 2022, at the Buschenschank Wolff.

By Wolfgang Geissler

12 is not a perfect number because the sum of its factors, 1+2+3+4+6, is greater than 12. Numbers like 12 are known as abundant numbers.

The number 12 is mentioned often in the New Testament of the Bible, such as Jesus’ selection of 12 apostles, with each apostle representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

The number 12 is strongly associated with the heavens—the 12 months, the 12 signs of the zodiac, and the 12 stations of the Moon and the Sun. The ancients recognized 12 main northern stars and 12 main southern stars.

Thus, 12 occurs as the number of inches in a foot, months in a year, ounces in a pound (troy weight or apothecaries’ weight), and twice 12 hours in a day, and both the dozen and the gross measure by twelves.

Of course, the particular position occupied by 10 stems from the number of human fingers. It is still evident in modern usage not only in the logical structure of the decimal number system but in the English names for the numbers. Thus, eleven comes from Old English endleofan, literally meaning “[ten and] one left [over],” and twelve from twelf, meaning “[ten and] two left [over]”.

However, the Austro-British Society sets different standards. 12 is a perfect number for us because it refers to the 12th ABS-Heurigen Evening at the Buschenschank Wolff in Neustift am Walde. The sun shone from a deep blue sky. The temperature was in the middle thirties with a blustery and refreshing westerly wind only later causing the temperature to drop significantly, which could not dampen the general happy mood. Therefore, Number 12 should rightly be known as an abundant number because there was an abundance of bonhomie, friendship and good humour alongside good food and wine.

The ABS-Heurigen Evening is one of those enigmatic mysteries which even our President, Prof Dr Kurt Tiroch, could never explain. Nothing is free, and nothing is provided, not even a presidential speech. The members and guests need to pay for their consumption, and still, they turn out in record numbers. If you missed it last night, you again missed something special.

Next year I shall tell you about the “Baker’s Dozen”.


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