Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival which is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. During the event, millions of litres of beer are consumed, as well as tonnes of traditional German food; and it features amusement rides, stalls and games.
Although it is widely popular and imitated in countries across the globe on many levels, there are probably a few things about Oktoberfest that you might not have known.
Fact number one to know is that it doesn’t usually happen in October. It runs for 16 to 18 days from mid or late September to the first weekend in October at the latest, and attracts more than 6 million people every year.
Traditionally, Oktoberfest isn’t a beer festival. “Wiesn” as it’s known to the locals is a celebration of the anniversary of the wedding between the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburg hausen. Originally it was celebrated as a public party with horse races but in 1819 horses were substituted with beers.
Beer-drinkers from across the globe come to drink Oktoberfest bier in the big drinking tents. Created by six Munich breweries, these distinct beers are unique to the event. Served in a 1 litre beer stein, the Oktoberfest bier is 6% alcohol, which is a fair bit stronger than your average beer, so eating is essential.
Coincidentally, food is largely available in all types of traditional German varieties. With everything from Pork Hocks to Pickled Onions, Wieners and Schnitzels there is no reason to go hungry at Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest has another very key element to it apart from the beer and that is music. Usually each beer tent will feature a brass band playing a mix of modern songs and traditional German classics.
One of the main rules of Oktoberfest is that nobody is actually allowed to drink until the Mayor of Munich taps the first barrel.
Because Oktoberfest attracts such a massive amount of visitors, it is important to know as much as you can about the area you travel to, so do some research on hotels in the area, and plan ahead. On average, over 600 passports end up in the lost and found at Oktoberfest…so hold your important possessions close.
Give us a call if you want help to get there this year!