Toast the Coming of Fall at the Oktoberfest!

 

Summer may be over but if you are in Germany in late September or early October then there is still a special treat in store for you. This is the time when the world’s largest fair, Oktoberfest, bursts into life in the heart of Munich and it is a festival that should not be missed especially if you enjoy your beer! The event is primarily a celebration of German brewing but there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

History

The event actually started life as a wedding for crown prince Ludwig when he married princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in 1810. Festivities in the bride’s honour were arranged in the fields close to the city and today the area where the event is held is still known locally as the Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Meadow). Over the years different attractions were added representing German culture until the festival transmuted to its current form of a grand celebration of beer.

The Beer

The beer served at the Oktoberfest must be brewed within the city limits of Munich and contain around 6% alcohol making it somewhat stronger than most beers. This could be the reason why some of the patrons run into trouble after a drinking session! The drinks are served in several large tents and there is generally a lively and even uproarious atmosphere. There are approximately 6 million visitors to each festival consuming around 7 million litres of beer between them. Now that is a lot of drink!

Other Attractions

If you visit the festival do try some of the beer even if you are not a great drinker but there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy. Live music abounds as do colourful clothes with many visitors opting to wear traditional Bavarian costumes. There are many outlets selling traditional foods and snacks for you to enjoy and if your stomach is up to it after all that food and drink you could also give some of the many fairground rides a try!

Accommodation

If you think Oktoberfest could be for you then make sure you book your accommodation before you set out as the 6 million visitors ensure that hotel rooms are in great demand. 15% of the patrons are from outside of Germany and many of the rest travel from all over the country so book that room as soon as you can.

Distinctly German

Germany is not all about Bayern Munich and Hugo Boss there are other great specialities and some of them are splendid beers. Visit Oktoberfest to sample the local treats but take care not to overindulge!