Oktoberfest doesn’t start in October . On the contrary Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival that runs from mid September until the first weekend of October. These are some facts about the festival you might not know.
It’s Not a Beer Festival But A Royal Wedding Celebration
The origin of Oktoberfest goes the date of 17th October 1810 when King Ludwig I and Princess Therese got married. They invited the citizens of Munich to the wedding festivities. So every year people in Munich celebrate this important date and that’s why there is a Oktoberfest.
The World’s Largest Folk Festival
Except the war years the festival is celebrated and this year is the 205th anniversary. During the festival 6 million tourists gathers and keep this tradition alive by wearing traditional clothes, drinking around 7 million beer and eating traditional food.
There is No Beer Here!
You actually don’t drink beer , you drink a special drink Oktoberfestbier that has higher alcohol and only is produced for the festival. It is served in a special 1 liter glass called Maß. If you look for something lighter, you can drink Radler that is half beer half sparkling lemonade. For non-alcohol drinkers, I advise a popular German soft drink Apfelschorl that consists from apple juice and carbonated water.
Everyone Waits for The Mayor!
To drink this high alcohol and darker special beer you have to wait for the Mayor of Munich. In Schottenhamel tent at 12:00 the Mayor taps open the first barrel which is called “O’zapft is!” (= “It is tapped!”). It means that it is time to party!!!
What to Wear In Festival?
Women wear Drindl, men wear Lederhose. The traditional Drindl is red and blue colors and the skirt ends under the knee. Nowadays you can find many different color, model and pattern for Drindl. You have to spend at least 200 Euro for a good Drindl. But you can find a cheaper and low quality Drindl that is between 50 to 60 Euro. Pay attention to the women in Drindl cause you can tell their relationship status by their knots on the apron. If the apron has a knot on the left side , she is single but the knot on the right side means that she is married. If the knot is on the back means that she is widowed.
Men’s clothing is much expensive cause Lederhose is made of leather. A good Lederhose costs about 300-350 euro. In Bavaria region people wear Drindl and Lederhose in their weddings and some special celebrations so almost all Munich people have Drindl and Lederhose.
The Festival Area
The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honour of the Crown Princess often called the “d’ Wiesn” or “d’Waasn” for short. The 42.000 m2 big festival area is located near Munich’s centre and has dozens of beer tents and a very big amusement park. Therefore this festival is for people of every age. The capacity of tents vary. Some of them is for 60 people, some of them is for 11.000 people like Hofbräu-Festhalle tent. You need to make a reservation or buy tickets to enter the tents and have a table. Or you have to arrive very early in the morning and wait in the queue. It is much easier to find a place during the week and even in the nights.
What to Eat?
Hendl: Roasted chicken
Schweinebraten: Roasted pork
Steckerlfisch: Grilled fish on a stick
Würstl: Different types of sausage
Brezen/ Pretzel: A bagel shaped into a twisty knot
Knödel: Dumplings made of flour, bread or potatoes
Kasepatzle: Cheese noodle
Reiberdatschi: Pancake with potato
Rotkohl/Blaukraut: Red cabbage
Obatzda: Bavarian cheese delicacy made of cheese, butter and spices