Oktoberfest is a great event to experience if you are living in London on a working holiday. It is definitely worth including it in your European travels.
World’s largest beer and travelling funfair
Oktoberfest, pronounced ok.toba.fest, is the world’s largest beer and travelling funfair and is world-renowned. It is held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany every year and is a must on anyone’s European vacation. Even if you don’t like beer there is plenty to experience like the carnival atmosphere with the rides, side stalls, the lively music, traditional, mouthwatering foods including smoked sausages, port knuckles, sauerkraut, pretzels and gingerbread all creating a great German atmosphere.
Oktoberfest wasn’t always what it is today. It actually began in 1810 as a wedding celebration when Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig invited all the citizens of the area to come celebrate his marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Since that initial celebration it has grown to what we know and love today.
Originally a non-alcoholic celebration
Originally it was a non-alcoholic celebration. That’s right, this beer drinking festival once did not include beer. But it didn’t take long for that to change. In fact, the only beer that can be served during Oktoberfest must come from one of Munich’s six breweries – Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu. And, like all other German brews, Oktoberfest beers must pass the “purity” law or Reinheitsgebot, which was passed in 1516 to ensure the beer’s quality. Yeah, Germany doesn’t mess around when it comes to brewing.
Oktoberfest originally took place in October but it was moved earlier which allowed for better weather which is why it is on during September.
Oktoberfest officially starts when the mayor taps the first keg, declaring “O’ zapft is” or “it’s tapped”. The first person to traditionally get a beer is the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. After that, everyone can enjoy a beer. In fact, around 7 million litres of beer is consumed during the event. If you enjoy a beer you will be pleased to know the beer is served in steins but be careful, you don’t want to be known as a ‘beer corpse’. What’s that you ask? Well it is someone who has had too many steins and passes out somewhere.
2017 marks the 182nd Oktoberfest and will run from 19 September through to 4 October.
Prost – toast.