Have you ever wondered what it is like at the Oktoberfest in Munich? Have you ever imagined singing along with tens of thousands people accompanied by 'oom pah bands'? Have you ever thought what it would be like to dress up in lederhosen and dirndl dresses and dance the night away on tables in massive beer tents? Have you ever wanted to experience great Bavarian beer, fantastic german cuisine and unique local culture? Well all of these questions can only be answered by saying that this is one adventure you don't want to miss.
This 16 day Oktoberfest festival in Munich is a celebration of what else, but beer. Hence why it has been nicknamed and is more commonly referred to as Beerfest.
One would presume with a name like Oktoberfest it would be held in October, but it actually commences each year in the middle of September and concludes on the first weekend of October.
More than 6 million people from all over the world attend the festivities during the 16 days and in that time they consume more than 6 million litres of beer. That's 1 litre for every man, woman and child who attends.
Just over 200 years ago, the Crown Prince of Bavaria, a young guy called Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. All the residents of Munich were invited to the wedding, which was held on the fields in front of the city gates. As part of the festivities were some horse races that marked the close of the event. This was seen as a celebration for the whole of Bavaria and the following year they decided to run the horse races again. This was the beginning of what we now know today as Oktoberfest. The festival was eventually lengthened and moved to commence in September to allow for better weather conditions.
What can you do there? Drink the best beer in the world of course. There are currently 14 large tents and 20 small tents at Oktoberfest. The tents themselves are non-permanent structures that are constructed for and only used during the festival. All the beer tents play different types of music and have entertainment to keep the crowds buzzing.
The Oktoberfest site includes numerous amusement rides, schnapps tents, plenty of traditional Bavarian delicacies like pork knuckles, bratwurst sausages, roast chicken, potato/bread dumplings and of course pretzels.
What sort of beer do they have at Oktoberfest? The beer is some of the finest lager varieties in the wold and to be classified as Oktoberfest beer it must be brewed within the city limits of Munich and must conform to to the German Purity Law.
The price of a 1 litre stein (or Mass in German) is around 8 to 9 Euros. However, always remember that if you want your server to return it is customary to tip them, so generally allow 10 Euro's for a beer.