31 Jul Oktoberfest 2019
Oktoberfest is Germany’s most popular festival and largest beer festival worldwide. Held annually in Munich, it is a 16 to 18 day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first Sunday in October. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations however Munich hosts the original one. This year is celebrated from 21st September to October 6th.
Origins of Oktoberfest
On 12 October 1810 Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I, married the Princess Theresa of Sassonia-Hildburghausen . All the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the celebration held in the fields in front of the city gate to celebrate the happy royal event. Since then, the fields have been called “Theresienwiese” (“Teresa’s meadow”) in honour of the princess, shortened to “Wies’n”. The closing ceremony at the Theresienwiese included a horse race, a veritable feast for the whole of Bavaria, the following year the decision to repeat the horse races gave rise to the origin of the Oktoberfest tradition.
Beer, beer and… more beer!
Every year, in September and October, more than six million people arrive in Munich from all over the world to attend the beer festival. During the day, “Quiet Oktoberfest”, with low-volume traditional folk music, keeps the beer festival accessible and entertaining for families and seniors. As the sun goes down though, the electronic music comes on, the volume goes up and all those steins begin to take effect, bringing a youthful party atmosphere to the event.
While many people attend to Oktoberfest for the crazy nights out, the festival maintains its traditional events:
The brewery and restaurant parade led by the mayor of Munich is a great tradition. Typically decorated horses and carts march to the site, accompanied by brass bands. Following the parade comes the official beer barrel tapping: at exactly 12 pm, the mayor opens the first beer barrel. With the exclamation “O’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped!”) the Oktoberfest begins. It’s not just the odd person and those taking part in parades who dress up: classic Bavarian dirndl and lederhosen
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