Oktoberfest in Munich – A German tradition known around the world
In Munich, people were looking forward to the 22nd of September this year, because this was when the largest public festival in the world started, the Oktoberfest. People from all over the world are now wearing the traditional clothes and celebrating the special beer culture together. At 12 o’clock the Lord Mayor pierced into the first keg barrel and called “O´ zapft is” (It is tapped). After that the Oktoberfest was officially opened and Munich started celebrating till the 7th of October 2018. But do you know, why it started and what you can do to make your own Oktoberfest including the traditional and usual procedure?
Why Oktoberfest – Munich´s History
The Oktoberfest is an important part of the Bavarian culture since 1810. Although the festival concludes in October, most of it takes place in September. So what is the reason behind the name?
On the occasion of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese, numerous private and public celebrations, took place in Munich on October 12nd, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. The fields were named “Theresienwiese” (Theresa’s Meadow), where a horse race with big spectacle took place. They had such a good time that is why they decided to stage the race festival every year.
After gaining popularity, Munich decided to relocate to the Indian summer to enjoy the last sunny days of September, but it has retained its original name, Oktoberfest. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations that are modeled after the original Munich event. But how does the Munich Oktoberfest looks like nowadays?
A folk festival for the whole family
The Oktoberfest is not just drinking beer. It is a huge fair that has something for both, children and adults. The fairground consists of 34 tents, in which music is played. In the morning till afternoon traditional bands are playing “Blasmusik” (brass music) and in the evening they are playing popular party music. Attendees can also enjoy attractions, such as amusement rides, rollercoasters and games, like throwing and shooting galleries. Moreover the festival offers parades, shows and firework. You can find the festival programm here. But what makes the festival so unique?
Of course- the traditions of the Bavarian culture. The festival is well known because of its clothes, beer and food. That is why we have to take a deeper look to the bavarian culture. When you want to celebrate an Oktoberfest, you should implement at least one of the following traditions.
A Dirndl for women is essential- just kidding. But it is nice to see many Bavarians and so many foreign people making the effort. A Dirndl is a dress with a deep top (neckline). It is high at the waist and attached a skirt with an apron. Single men should take a close look at the loop position of the apron. These betrays the relationship status of the woman (front right: awarded; front left: no relationship; middle front: virgin; middle back: widow).
Leather breeches for the men are once common workwear across Central Europe because they are more durable than a fabric garment. Traditional breeches are hand made of tanned deer leather. Nowadays leather breeches are considered as a folk costume associated especially with Bavaria and Austria. They are a symbol of regional pride.
There is also a wide variety of traditional foods. You can eat them in the tents or outside, where there is an huge amount of tiny food kiosks available. The most popular dish is a half roasted chicken with a pretzel. Additionally, you can eat different kinds of sausages, knuckles of pork, freshly smoked fish, candy floss and lots of colourful gingerbread creations.
Only beer brewed within Munich and conforming to the “Reinheitsgebot”, can be poured out at the Munich Oktoberfest. Beers meeting these criteria are designated Oktoberfest Beers. These special beers must have at least an original wort of 13,5% and must contain between 5,8 and 6,4% alcohol by volume. The beer is usually served in one-liter glasses (eine Maß). If you are in one of the tents, you will hear often “Oans–zwoa-drei-g’suffa!” (One-two-three bottoms up!). Now you have to cheer up and drink a swallow of your Maß.
Fun Facts about the Oktoberfest in Munich
- Each year, they are excited to see how many beats the Munich mayor makes until the first beer flows, and even bets are made. The best result is 2 strokes, but there were already 19 strokes required another time. This year he achieved 2 strokes.
- Every year, the Oktoberfest attracts around 6 million people (record year 1985: 7,1 mi.).
- On average, 6 million liters of extra-brewed beer are drunk and circa 500,000 roast chicken are served by 1,600 waiters.
- The largest tent is the Hofbräuzelt with 10,000 seats.
- They offer 1,400 seats for toilets and 1km of urinals
Now you would certainly like to organize your own Oktoberfest. Our service is looking forward to help you organizing your own Oktoberfest. Learn more about Lets.events and visit our website to get more information. Besides do you know german carnival? If not you should take a look in our other blog post. The germans definitely know, how to celebrate events.