Everything you need to know about the iconic Beer Festival- Oktoberfest in Munich
The world’s largest Folk fest Oktoberfest is right now happening in Munich. And if you happen to be there are can’t decide if you need to be a part of this annual beer extravaganza than here are a few things you should know that will help you decide.
The Oktoberfest started as a tradition, an annual way to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony- Hildburghausen who got married in 1810. Since then thousands of people gather at Theresienwiese every year to drink beer and honor traditional Bavarian culture. In fact, there is a full-blown opening ceremony in Munich to mark the beginning of this festival with Bavarian bands playing traditional music. There is also the closing ceremony of the festival where Riflemen parade and give a salute on the steps of the Bavarian monument.
The festival starts mid-September and usually goes on for 16 to 18 days until October. The timings of the fest are 10 am to 10:30 pm on weekdays and from 9 am on Saturdays and Sundays. The place is fully packed during the weekend which is why it is not a bad idea to enjoy the festival in the weekdays. It is estimated that around 7 million people take part in Munich’s Oktoberfest every year. It is the largest beer festival in the world. The fest is more or less like an amusement park with the place being lit, people playing games and taking rides on roller coasters and Ferris wheel. There are booths that sell German food such as salted pretzels, fruits dipped in chocolates, wine, spirits, sausages and a lot more which is absolutely lip-smacking. You can also buy some exclusive festival merchandise and souvenirs from booths at the Oktoberfest. The fest welcomes people of all age groups. You will witness entire families from grandparents to toddlers are kids hopping around and enjoying themselves.
When in Theresienwiese, you will notice a large number of tents scattered around but if you are here for the beer then you must head to any of the big Bavarian breweries that have their own tents where they serve their own brews. Beer is served in a giant mug known as a ‘mass’ which is German for ‘measure’. Each mass holds up to one liter of beer.
Everyone here is dressed in traditional costumes- lederhosen and dirndl. If you too want to dress in the traditional outfit there are several shops that sell the gear and even rent it. People are welcoming here so even if you are alone you will find a nice company to drink beer with.
Although there are no charges to enter Oktoberfest and the tents but, if you are interested in buying something you will have to spend. There are live bands playing some fun and traditional German-beer-drinking-songs. In fact, you can sing along with the members or your group if you know a bit of German. The complete atmosphere here is absolutely vivacious which is why you should experience it atleast once in your life.