Thinking of going? Why not? You can do it on the cheap. That’s better, party spirit! Check out megabus grab a return coach for less than £50 (at time of typing), the festival is free so choose your beer and sausage money and book a few days in a hostel Oktoberfest is free, the tents are free if you get there early, bobs your uncle, fannys your aunt. Knees up mother brown.
Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival held in Munich, Bavaria during late September and running to early Oktober. Maybe this is why by the time I hear about it every year it’s already over? They moved it. People Oktoberfest was moved to September.. mostly. When I think of Oktoberfest I imagine rows of the longest wooden regal tables all lined up with swilling jugs of frothy Bavarian beer. Men dressed in animal skin smashing horns together in jeers of delight and cheery laughter as they drop it over their big sandle toed feet.
Obviously it’s not going to be like this, but will it be more beer festival tent than ancient heritage? Wouldn’t you just be unable to stand by the 7th tent and call it a day? Why does it even exist anyway? How did Oktoberfest become the biggest celebrated beer festival in the world?
Well they say beer is thicker than water, or in Munich’s case beer is more drinkable than water – in the olden days the drinking water was a little worse for wear causing the plague and cholera – so for the locals beer was safer than water, the brew killing most of the germs. Beer is good for you. Seen.
Oktoberfest beers are Munich beers, brewed on munich ground and 1% stronger than the rest of the year round.
10 euros a beer
Mind the bierleichen (beer corpses/especially drunk people)
Over 8 million litres of beer is drunk
(& over 200,000 pairs of pork sausages eaten … sausages come in pairs here?)
There are about 15 beer tents with different themes
The beers come in 1 liter steins – when you order, order ein beir or ein mas
Oktoberfestbiers are the beers that have been served at the event in Munich since 1818, and are supplied by 6 breweries known as the Big Six: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. Traditionally Oktoberfestbiers were the lagers of around 5.5 to 6% abv called Märzen – brewed in March and allowed to ferment slowly during the summer months. Originally these would have been dark lagers, but from 1872 a strong March brewed version of an amber-red Vienna lager made by Josef Sedlmayr became the favourite Oktoberfestbier.
Over 200,000 pairs of pork sausages are eaten … sausages come in pairs here?
Chicken comes with a crispy skin
Go for the haxn, knuckle of pork or the steckerlfisch, grilled herring on a stick
Dress in team outfits (representing your country)
Guys, whip out those leather pants and ladies go shopping for one of those Bavarian boob dresses with the fru fru skirts too (ooh leather and fru fru plus cosplay.. does Oktoberfest have it all?)
OKTOBERFEST NEED TO KNOWS
Get in to the tent at 9:30am if you don’t have a reservation
The festival halls sit 94k people
or tip the door guy a 20euro, but you can’t order without a seat.. so RESERVE
The beer tents have music, food & beer all day long
Take a turn on the giant turntable spinning wheel
The party kicks off in the evening
Weekends are mad crush
If you need to wee and cant get back in to your seat flash some cleavage
You’ll start singing in fake german (unless you know deutsche ja)
Try the rollercoasters after your first 2 litres.. don’t make me say I told you so.
Lawn sleeping is acceptable from about 1pm.
Sounds like a mad one eh? Well, Oktoberfest does come from royal beginnings. The history of Oktoberfest begins in Munich. On the 12th October 1810 Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburhausen was married to the future King Ludwig. To celebrate this royal wedding in style, all of Munich was invited and festivities were held on the fields in front of the city gates (aka let them party outside the house darling.. no make that outside the gates, we don’t want to mess up the grounds).
It was the horse races that stole the show (we are talking over 200 years ago here). The races and the royal family’s presence marked a close to the event that was pretty banging and started a happy holiday that was celebrated throughout Bavaria. The next year the princess really needed an excuse for a new dress so she made hubby Ludwig repeat the horse races the next year .. well who wouldn’t want a second wedding party?
So, in 1811 Oktoberfest started to get it’s own identity. Bavarians jumped on the publicity and ran an Agricultural Show to boost the industry. In 1818 the first carousel and two swings were set up (is that one each?) and because there were only two swings and a girly ride the men brought the beer stands to make It a party. By 1896 the beer stands gave way to the first beers tents and halls by brewery backed landlords, an enterprising bunch of bavarians! By the 1970s the fairground trade was growing and thriving in Germany and the size of the fun-fair increased big time. 2015 will be the 182nd Oktoberfest and because Oktoberfest is still held on the same lawn, the Theresienwiese, outside the gates the locals still call it the ‘Wies’n’.
History Buffs Look Here
1813 is the only year Oktoberfest has been cancelled because Bavaria was involved in the Napoleonic war
in 1819 management got involved and so the city fathers took over
Oktoberfest was moved forward to september to take advantage of the warmer weather (those cold winds from the alps are chapping you know)