Beer, pretzels, carnival treats and dizzying rides- Oktoberfest spells everything fun! Perhaps, the most famous festival in Germany, Oktoberfest is celebrated not only in its home country but cities across the world. Food and drink form a major part of this celebration which usually lasts for a little over two weeks.
Where It All Started
An annual event originally held in Munich, Oktoberfest was first celebrated in the early 19th century. The first Oktoberfest marked the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, with Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The people of Munich participated in the celebration of this joyous occasion which was held on 12 October 1810. Festivities were held on the fields in front of the city gates which are now known as Theresienwiese or Wiesn. The royal family were present to witness the horse races that marked the conclusion of the festivities which were akin to a festival celebrated by all of Bavaria.
The horse races were held the following year and many years after that which gave rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. The passage of the years saw the addition of more and more attractions such as an agricultural show, fun fairs, and beer stands which were replaced by beer tents later on.
When to Go
The festival usually begins sometime in mid-September and goes on to the first week of October. It is estimated that over 6 million people participate in the festivities each year. In 2017, Oktoberfest is set to start on September 16 and conclude on October 3.
Check Out the Tents
A number of large and small temporary ‘tents’ made from wood can be found at the venue and beer or wine is served here. Hippodrome is one of the larger and more famous tents which often hosts celebrities and has a band playing in the evenings. Hofbräu-Festzelt, Winzerer Fähndl, Schottenhamel, Löwenbräu-Festhalle, Käfer Wiesn-Schänke, and Augustiner-Festhalle are some of the popular tents. Each tent has its own unique features such as a distinguishing tower or sculpture, special items on the menu, and interior decorations.
Must Try Food and Beverages
Beer, of course, is the preferred beverage at Oktoberfest and only the Club of Munich Brewers can supply the spirit at the event. Six breweries make up this exclusive club — Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spatenbräu, and Staatliches Hofbräu-München. Oktoberfest Märzen by Paulaner, The Augustiner Weissbier Oktoberfestbier, Edelstoff, Bavarian Märzen, Wiesenbier, and Hacker-Pschorr Weisse are some of the beers to try out at Oktoberfest. Every brewery also has a special beer that is served only at this annual event.
Tuck into soft pretzels known as Brez’n, the Bavarian speciality sausage Weisswurst, Bratwurst and different types of seafood. Slow roasted meat, rotisserie chicken, pickled ham known as Schweinshaxe, and Dampfnudle, a bread dumpling that can be either sweet or savoury are some other treats you are likely to see on the menu. If you have a sweet tooth, sugary crepes are just what you need.
Most of the visitors to Oktoberfest Munich also choose to dress up in traditional Bavarian attire. This includes Gamsbart, a hat, and Tracht for men, which includes suspenders, white socks, and loafers. Women dress up in dirndls worn with short-sleeved blouses and pinafores with low heel loafers completing the look.
Experience the joyful abandon of Oktoberfest and let your hair down at the biggest Volksfest (People’s Festival) in the world. At GoFro we plan your itinerary to make sure you make the most of your vacation!