Oktoberfest is upon us! So, strap on your lederhosen and jump on the beer wagon. Let’s get into what this behemoth beer festival is all about.
- It’s Not in October
Let’s get this out of the way real quick. This legendary event actually has a mid-September start. This year, the festival begins on September 17 and ends on October 3rd. Don’t worry, you’ve still got time to celebrate!
- It’s Not A Beer Festival
Yes. You heard that right. Oktoberfest is not a beer festival. It’s actually the anniversary celebration of a wedding! When the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig decided to get hitched to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (now there’s a name) they decided to throw what we would call a block party. So, next time you raise your stein, be sure to make a toast to the lovebirds that made it all possible!
- It’s Tapped!
The festival can’t get underway until the master of ceremonies cracks open the first beer. It’s usually accompanied by the proclamation of ‘O’zapft is’ or as we like to say, the it’s tapped!
- Drink to Your Health
You’d think a festival where beer is so generously imbibed might not be the best for your health…. However, you’d be wrong. You see, back in the 19th Century, fresh water wasn’t so fresh. And so, in order to avoid cholera, the plague and other, shall we say disagreeable, ailments, the locals took to drinking beer. We believe that to be a much safer, and tastier, alternative! So, drink to your health – or as the locals shout: ‘zum Wohl!’
- Soak Up the Beer
If you want to last the entire festival, you’re going to need some hearty fare. And Oktoberfest does not disappoint. With traditional offerings from Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Brezn (pretzel), Knodeln (potato or bread dumplings), Wurstl (sausages), and Sauerkraut (pickled red cabbage) you’ll be set for the day. However, your breath won’t, so be sure to bring a stick of gum!
- All Ages Allowed
If you happen to be in Bavaria, then don’t be surprised to see families and children roaming the festival. Remember, it’s not just about the beer – even though that’s the only reason we go… While the carnival aspect is a large part of Oktoberfest, it’s also a family friendly extravaganza. You’ll find rollercoasters, games, a Ferris wheel, and traditional Bavarian parades.
- Lost and Found
With such a spectacular gathering of inebriated fellows, you’d assume things would get lost. And you’d be right. Every year, over 4000 things are lost and found during the Oktoberfest. From glasses to phones, passports, wallets, jackets and even some oddities: dentures, hearing aids and wedding rings. But don’t fret, the items get stored in Munich’s central lost and found office for six months. After that, well you’re out of luck as they get sold at public auction!
Are You Thirsty Yet?
What are you waiting for? Get yourself to Munich and celebrate the Oktoberfest! Or just find your way to the nearest bar and tell them everything you learned about the festival!