Travelling to Germany within the next 30 days? Then, don’t miss the Oktoberfest which starts on September 17th and ends on October 3rd. Oktoberfest is the Germany’s famous fest and one of the world’s largest fair which lasts for a full fortnight or more. Year-on-year, the visitors’ crowd has been increasing and currently stands around 7 million people who come from all over the world. The amount of beer consumed during Oktoberfest is around 1.98 million galllons- that’s enough to fill around three Olympic swimming pools. This is a must visit festival for beer lovers who can enjoy the specially brewed beers from Späten, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Poschorr, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu and others. Even for those who are not beer guzzlers, there are choices likewine, champagne and other spirits which shall help you rejoice.
This fest started as a marriage ceremony between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. The ceremony was such a hit that it was later decided to be celebrated every year and it has been a popular practice since then. The fest ground is around 4,20,000 sq. ft.in area and named after the princess as “Theresienwiese Grounds” which is located in Munich, Germany.
The Oktoberfest shall be inaugurated by Munich mayor on 17th September by tapping the first barrel at the Schottenhamel Tent, saying “O’zapft is” meaning “It’s open”. Then you can buy your beers at your respective tents and just raise your beer glass to say “Prostl” (cheers) or “ZumWohl” (to your health”. On the first Sunday a Traditional Costume and Riflemen’s parade is held through Munich which starts at 10 AM and usually lasts for 3 hours. More than 7,000 performers participate over a 7-km parade route. On 22nd September, a traditional religious Oktoberfest mass is held. On 25th September which is a Sunday, a Traditional concert of the Oktoberfest brass-bands shall be conducted at the feet of the Bavaria. The fest concludes with traditional gun-salute on the steps of the Bavaria monument.
You shall have a packed day as the Oktoberfest usually starts at 10 am and ends by 10:30 pm. There are 14 main beer tents of which 6 tents are big enough to handle around 12,000 people per day. Getting entry into these tents is quite difficult unless there is some reservation done before hand. To know more about the reservation process, visit http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/.
There is a Bucket List events package which includes at least 1 beer tent reservation with 2 beers (1 liter) along with 1 food voucher. Of course, there is more than 1 beer tent reservation option available with additional charges. There are only six types of beers which are available and each bottle of 1 liter usually costs between 8 to 10 euros. traditional Bavarian foods are available aplenty along with other foods and soft drinks at a reasonable price.
The entry to the Oktoberfest is free and there are special days for families where all the rides and performances cost less. Besides beer and food there are ample rides and carnival games surrounding the tents along with special events, open air music concerts etc. You will see many localities in the fest with traditional attire and occupying most of the tents with families hence reservation of the tents is inevitable. Also learn few German words and how to pronounce few German dishes so you know how to manage with the non-English waitress and other locals just in case. There could be certain unavoidable discomforts when you have to wait for long time in the queue to use public toilets because of the huge crowd. Though the security is very tight please ensure ladies and children are always accompanied. The fest is always a hit and people do enjoy a different atmosphere all together as you get to see many people from different countries and the way the fest is enjoyed and you will definitely cherish each and every moment of it.
There are many other interesting places nearby which you can visit when you are in Munich like Englischer Garten, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich Residenz, BMW Welt & BMW Museum, Olympiapark, New Town Hall – just to name a few.