Finally, the most expected festival by beer lovers around the world, has arrived. Oktoberfest is here!
When Oktoberfest is celebrated?
The most classical beer festival begins this year on Saturday the 21st of September and it will endure until Friday the 6th of October: 16 days to enjoy good draft beer, the local gastronomy and Bavarian culture in its maximum.
What is celebrated?
Oktoberfest, which means literally “The festival of October”, is the major celebration of Munich, Bavaria’s main city. The fest has its central place on Theresienwiese square and the main activities consist on Bavarian traditional songs, music and gastronomy apart from parades decorated with flowers and people dressed with Bavarian traditional costumes.
Among the traditional gastronomy, we can highlight chicken, roasted pork, pork and fish skewers, sausages, meatballs and pretzels, all of this accompanied by a good beer. In fact, every year impressive quantities of food and drinks are consumed. It is calculated that, yearly, is drunk and eaten, among others the following:
- Approximately 7 million liters of beer.
- Approximately 500.000 chickens.
- Approximately 120 whole oxen.
Without any doubt, spectacular figures for a massive festival.
The celebration has more than 200 years: the origin of the “October festival” was on 1810, when the heir Prince of Bavaria, the future king Ludwig the first was married with Princess Teresa di Sassonia-Hildburghausen. To celebrate the wedding, a festival was organized in the fields outside Munich where all the citizens where invited. Later, those fields were named “Theresienwiese” (Teresa’s fields) in princess’s honor and they became the main area of the festival, which has endured until our days. The event generated such an impact in Munich and in Bavaria in general that the next year, to celebrate it, it was decided to repeat the horses racing. That was how Oktoberfest was born.
Since then, the festival has been celebrating without interruptions except when exceptional circumstances occurred: the war against Napoleon in 1813 or in the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945.
The fest has changed along the time: the initial horse racing ended in 1960 and the agricultural fair, which was originated in 1811, nowadays is celebrated one time every four years. New elements has been added, which is the case of ”O’Zapft is”, the inaugural act that consists in the major of the city opening a beer barrel with a hammer in the Schottenhamel marquee. Calendar has changed too to enjoy a little more the good weather of autumn’s beginning: what years ago was the “October’s festival” nowadays is celebrated since a Saturday of September until the first Sunday of October.
The Oktoberfest in the world
Traditional like no other, Oktoberfest has become one of the most international festivals and anybody can doubt that today is a world class fest. Different cities like Denver, Tokyo, Brisbane, Mexico City and Barcelona, celebrate it annually. Today, in the whole world, the Bavarian culture is known and enjoyed thanks to the Oktoberfest.
What a best way to begin the autumn than enjoying a good draught beer in its jar and with its soft cream in the Oktoberfest? Show must go on!