The Weird & Wonderful World of Oktoberfest
When you hear the word Oktoberfest, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You wouldn’t be wrong if you answered beer! Held annually in Munich and attracting more than 6 million people from all around the globe, Oktoberfest is a folk festival celebrating the unique Bavarian culture.
With it kicking off this month, we thought we’d take a closer look at the weird and wonderful world of Oktoberfest. And as it turns out, there is a lot more to this traditional festival than downing jugs of Bavarian Beer!
It’s not a beer festival
Scandal, we know! But believe it or not, Oktoberfest is actually the celebration of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s wedding! When he married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, they, of course, celebrated with a party for the whole town.
They don’t serve beer
We’ll give them this one on a technicality! Apparently, the festival doesn’t serve ‘beer’ but rather ‘Oktoberfestbier’. Special brews are purposefully made for the event by only six Munich-based breweries and are served in 14 ginormous drinking tents. Be careful though, Oktoberfestbier should be taken seriously, you’ll get yourself in trouble from the locals by calling it anything else!
No drinking without consent
There aren’t many rules for Oktoberfest patrons, but there is one important thing to remember. You cannot drink until the master of ceremonies (the Mayor of Munich) cracks open that first barrel, declaring ‘O’zapft is’, otherwise known as ‘it’s tapped!’.
It starts in September
I know most of you probably know it starts in September, not October! But why on earth is it called Oktoberfest then? Well turns out when it started back in 1810, it went for one week in October. But as the years ticked on, they extended the festival, bringing it earlier to take advantage of the warmer months!
It’s kid friendly
While chugging jugs of beer is still the main focus for many festival goers, over the years Oktoberfest has added many family friendly elements. Families alike can enjoy the ferris wheel, roller coasters, Bavarian parades, games and even ‘quiet Oktoberfest’ where until 6pm, only quiet brass music will be played.
There’s a wine tent
Not into beer? Have no fear, there is a tent full of wine waiting for you! Not only do they serve 15 different types of wine, you can also treat yourself to champagne and sparkling wine.