If you want to participate in the largest festival in the world, then you should know that it takes place in Munich, Germany and that it revolves around beer, German food and vintage clothing used by German farmers. It has been performed for more than 200 years and is attended by more than 6.5 million people. But how is Oktoberfest celebrated? It reminds us of the festival of the vineyard, although with its differences.
This festival takes place during the last week of September and the first week of October. The first time it was performed was in 1810 and it was done to unite Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Teresa of Saxony in marriage, at that time the royal family met in the Theresienwiese field; named after the royal wedding, in honor of the bride.
In the year 2010 the 200 years of this festival were celebrated, and then horse races were held again, which were originally carried out and then were eliminated from the activities of this festival, which was until 1987 of an agricultural nature. Starting this year, it becomes a festival where the main attraction is beer, this is because the owners of the city’s craft beer producers met and continue to meet.
What do you need to celebrate Oktoberfest?
- Make a reservation in advance for a hotel in the city. Keep in mind the number of people who will be looking for accommodation there on those days.
- Reserve a table in the tent where the beer is sold. There are tents that have served more than 12,000 people, serving more than 12,000 hectoliters of beer.
- Prepare cash, due to the number of people, most of the tents do not receive cards, also 1 liter of beer could cost something close to 8 euros, water and soft drinks between 5 and 7 euros.
- A babysitter, if you have children and want to enjoy the nightlife, keep in mind that they only allow children in the tent until 8pm.
If you want to be in tune with the festivity, remember to bring:
- If you are a man: a plaid print shirt, leather pants fastened with suspenders.
- Women: they wear long stockings accompanied by a knee-length dress, made with checkered fabric and an apron on the skirt.
Instructions for Oktoberfest
- Prior to the inauguration, a parade is held that ends exactly at 12 noon, when it reaches the Theresienwiese tent. Beer producers participate in this parade, which enter the city on horseback, also horses loaded with barrels of beer, as well as pulling amazing carts with beer; all of this is headed by the mayor of the city and the musical bands that will later animate the stay in the different tents.
- The festival begins at the moment in which the mayor opens the first barrel of beer, then pronounces the word: «O´zapeft is» which means «it is already open», 12 cannon shots sound and the tents start selling beer, all they begin to drink and enjoy the different attractions that are concentrated around this great festivity.
- The beer consumed at this festival is completely handmade, prepared in the city and only four ingredients are used: water, malt, hops and yeasts, as there is a beer purity law, which was ruled in 1516 by Duke William IV. It is also prepared in March and has 6% alcohol.
- Beer is a drink in a jug with a capacity of one liter of beer.
- Get ready for the beer contests, which are very varied, hold world records and others. The most famous is to drink with one hand; a jar weighing 9 kilos and made of stainless steel, which must be held with one hand, the participant must drink without resting and not throw a drop of the precious liquid.
- The place around the field, in which the festival takes place, is called Oktoberfest and is made up of 14 tents in which you can find beer and food. The central axis or the tent in which the event opens is Schottenhamel.
- With so much alcohol it is necessary to eat well, but don’t worry, because in the tent you will find traditional food, so you can enjoy: Delicious pretzels; German sausages, the famous Bratwurst, Weißwurst; Typical potato, Frankfurt sausage and pickle salad; Knuckle made with the traditional recipe of German food.
- You can’t stop trying the tasty apple strudel; it will surely delight young and old.
- The celebration is full of traditional games, German folk music and activities for everyone, so there is even a family day on Tuesday. On this day you can not only take the children to the roller coaster and the mechanical games that this holiday offers, but also in the tent, there are activities and special promotions for those who go as a family. All until 8:00 at night.
- All young people over the age of 16 can consume beer at Oktoberfest, although other liquors are prohibited, this one is not.
- Another memorable moment of this festivity takes place on the first Sunday of this celebration, as it has been reserved for the parade of typical costumes. During this activity, spectators enjoy fantasies made from the costumes used for generations, as well as compasses and traditional dances.
- Oktoberfest closes on the first Sunday of October at 11:30 p.m. Ends at the Bavarian monument, with the same 12-gun salute it started with
- If you are not in Germany or do not have the disposition to travel there, do not worry; If you live in Spain or Latin America, you can enjoy Oktoberfest prepared and performed by Germans residing in those countries.
- In Spain it has been held since 1975 in the city of Tenerife and is held in the San Francisco Park. They also celebrate Oktoberfest in Canella de Barcelona. In Valencia it has been held since 1988 and you can enjoy it in Calpe. In Zaragoza it has been celebrated since 1987 and joins the Pillar festivities. Madrid also celebrates its version of this Bavarian party, it takes place in the old Palacio de Deports.
- In Latin America it is carried out in different countries of South America, the best known being Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, in the latter place and more beer is consumed princely, during this party, than even at the Oktoberfest held in Munich.
- In Colombia and Mexico, as in Spain, this festival has the peculiarity of being celebrated in the main cities of the country, thus bringing the German tradition to a large number of people.
- This is a festival that will be 210 years old this October 2022 and that has been suspended 24 times, due to extreme situations such as World War II. For all this, Oktoberfest is not just for drinking beer; this can be just an excuse to walk around Munich, live historic and unforgettable moments with your family, partner or friends, as well as meet people from all over the world and enjoy traditional German cuisine.
Tips for celebrating Oktoberfest
- Go to Oktoberfest if you love beer, because you will feel in paradise.
- It takes quite a lot of money.
- Fluent in German or at least English.