13 Things About Oktoberfest
- Oktoberfest is a sixteen-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany during late September and running to early October.
- Oktoberfest 2008 runs from September 20th to October 5th.
- Oktoberfest called "Oktober"-fest when it actually begins in September for historical reasons. The first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.
By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.
- Oktoberfest is held on an the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese, the princess mentioned above), often called d’ Wiesn for short.
- Oktoberfestbiers are the beers that have been served at the event in Munich since 1818, and are supplied by 6 Munich breweries known as the Big Six: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr.
- Beer is typically served as a Maß, which is one litre (or 2 pints).
- There are 14 main beer tents, with ownership split across the 6 breweries mentioned above from Munich.
- (Food served during Oktoberfest is mostly traditional Bavarian fare such as Hendlchicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Haxn (knuckle of pork), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstel (sausages) along with Brezel (Pretzel), Knödeln (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a fatty, spiced cheese-butter concoction) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).
- Many Bavarian visitors to Oktoberfest wear Trachten - traditional Bavarian clothes: Lederhosen for men, and Dirndl for women. A Dirndl consists of a top and blouse, wide skirt and a colourful apron.
- There is more to Oktoberfest than just beer and food. There are carnival rides, parades, and live music.
- In 2007, there were 6.2 million visitors to Oktoberfest.
- In 2007, appoximately 69.406 hl of beer were served, along with 1.269 hl of non-alcoholic beer.
- Oktoberfest is a lot of fun, and is the largest fair in the world.