Every year, towards the end of September and the beginning of October, for 16 days straight, the Germans celebrate Munich’s favourite event, the Oktoberfest. It is known to be the largest folk festival in the entire world. A city of about 1.5 million people welcome 6-7 million people to celebrate the crazily fun event. The numbers are amusing right? That is not it! The festival is also characterised with roasted chicken, sausages and lots and lots of beer!
The history of Oktoberfest dates back to the year 1810 and it originally took place to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony- Hildburghausen. Every person in Munich was invited to this grand wedding to eat and drink for 5 days straight. The celebration was so successful that it went on happening each year during the same time of the year and eventually ended up becoming a tradition.
What Happens at the Oktoberfest?
The festival has now become very popular around the world and attracts around 6 million people each year. Apart from that, it is the favourite time of the year for the locals too. About 70% of the entire crowd is usually from Bavaria and the rest is from all over Germany. They wait all year long for this time to have some great food, beer and fun.
The foreigners who grace the fest wear the traditional Bavarian costumes to blend in with the crowd and experience the tradition to the tee. The traditional costumes are known as tracht in Germany. They are readily available at small shops in Munich for nominal rates during the time of the fest. If this is not enough, you can also add goofy sunglasses and funny hats to your costume to add a tinge of quirk!
The fest is characterised by German traditional food and gallons of beer. There are a couple of tents set up with a different party feel in each of them. Roasted chicken and pretzels ae served with chilled beer in most of them. The seats in these tents seem to be empty during the day but as the night progresses, it’s party time!
If you are wondering which tent to enter for the best experience, here are a few suggestions. To get a more rounded feel of the event, try some of the tents like the Hackerbrau , themed as the Bavarian blue and white. You can also visit the Winzerer Fähndl (complete with beer garden). The Augustiner Festhalle is more moderately paced and popular with families, particularly on Tuesdays. The largest tent is the 10,000-seater Schottenhamel, where the first beer of the season is poured to rapturous applause and cheering. The smallest is the
Well, we would advice you to book your tents a few days in prior. Especially the ones which have a heavy footfall. If you don’t, the tents start crowding up very soon and you might not get a place to sit and enjoy the festival. Reach at a particularly good time so that you can make your way inside the place!
Oktoberfest is also widely known for it’s folk music. The Germans are stereotypically known for the marches that proceed, the folk music and the Oktoberfest as a Whole. As the evening wears on, more and more people start to sing the folks and the music becomes louder. People sway their beer mugs up in the air with their arms swinging while enjoying these 16 days to the fullest.
Here are a few tips we would like to give if you are planning to attend the Oktoberfest anytime soon: –
- The German country seems pretty safe because of its low crime rate. However, there is a lot of theft that takes place during the Oktoberfest. Since you are a tourist in a foreign land, we would advise you to not get too drunk in order to be safe and not have a bitter experience during such a wonderful fest.
- Smoking is not allowed in any of the tents. If you try and smoke in there, you will be requested to step out immediately. These tents do not even allow re entry most of the times so if you are a smoker, you would have to look for designated open balconies for the same.
- The weather in Munich during this time usually rainy. You might want to ack and umbrella just in case you do not get a fully covered tent.
- If at all you end up losing any of your belongings at the oktoberfest, you do not have to worry about losing them for good at all. They have a designated lost and found area where all these dropped and lost items are deposited. You can always take their number from the website and trace your belongings.
Every German looks forward to the super fun Oktoberfest event each year. After the fest has gained worldwide recognition, most of the people around the globe have the fest on their bucket list. If you are planning to visit Germany for a holiday, should definitely try and attend this fun galore.
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