Oktoberfest has been happening in Munich since 1810. It is locally called d’Wiesn and is the world’s biggest beer festival. The festival happens for 16 to 18 days. The traditional Bavarian costumes and German delicacies available make the fest extraordinary. Of late, Germans in other parts are presenting their beer festivals. They generally occur from late September to early October.
The beer fest was originally a marriage fest. But, sweet, isn’t it?
King Ludwig married Prince Therese on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich attended the festivities to celebrate the royal event. The fields later became Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s Meadow”) to honor the Crown Princess. Horse races are the craze here, and Oktoberfest came along and added to it.
The beer of Oktoberfest
The beer conforming to the Reinheitsgebot and belonging to Munich city enters Oktoberfest. There are two individual beer styles: a traditional Märzen lager and a paler Festbier.
Oktoberfest Beer contains a registered trademark by the Club of Munich Brewers.
The club includes Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spatenbräu and Staatliches Hofbräu-München. Therefore, these breweries can only produce the beer sold at Oktoberfest.
After many years of changes and adoptions, Oktoberfest became “quiet Oktoberfest” to suit the elderly and families. They play traditional folk music until 6 PM and later convert to pop.
In 2008 smoking ban came due to a new Bavarian law curbing the sales of tobacco products in the fest.
Oktoberfest Bicentennial happened in 2010. It marked a horse race adorning historical costumes.
The coronavirus pandemic hit Oktoberfest, too, causing Oktoberfest hiatus. After 2022, it is now happening in 2023.
This 188th Oktoberfest will take place from September 16 to October 3.
The traditional Wiesn tapping is happening on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at noon.
Other traditional events include:
- The parade of the Wiesnwirte.
- The large procession of traditional costumes and shooters on the first Sunday.
- The stand-up concert under the Bavaria shooting.
Oktoberfest is famous for its clothing. So dirndls with blouses, festive aprons, and leather trousers with traditional shirts and jackets are a must-have.
You can announce your relationship status by wearing the bow of your Dirndls’ apron. (Sorry, this exception is for females, if you are non-binary and welcome Dirndls, then you are okay to do this tradition!)
Dos and Don’ts
- No gas spray cans, coloring substances, cutting tools, or weapons can enter.
- You can carry beverages onto the festival grounds but not into beer gardens.
- They check walking devices or medical aids as you enter. There are cameras also.
- Access to the festival grounds and tents needs pay.
- You can get all kinds of food. So vegans and vegetarians don’t fret about varieties.
- You can take small items like umbrellas and necessities, but you can’t take big bags or backpacks inside.
- Remember to go for the ‘Mass’ or the big glass.