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Oktoberfest Tours & Trips 2019 / 2020
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What is Oktoberfest?
The Munich Oktoberfest is considered the most popular beer drinking and folk festival in the world. Every year, it attracts millions of travellers from different countries - the most recent statistics show more than seven million visitors attended the event!
Although beer drinking remains one of its main attractions, the Munich Oktoberfest is actually a combination of mouth-watering food, good music, dancing, culture, and just pure fun. Think about German sausages, pork shanks, chicken, and giant pretzels. Think about parades, amusement rides, tents, and colourful traditional costumes. And yes, even if you are not a beer drinker, you can join in the fun by having wine, coffee, or an array of soft drinks.
When is Oktoberfest?
Although named Oktoberfest, the event doesn’t run through October - it actually concludes in October, which is usually the first Sunday of the month. It runs for two weeks or around 16 to 18 days.
If you’re planning to join the 2019 Oktoberfest will start on September 21. The 2020 schedule has it starting on September 19.
Where is Oktoberfest Held?
Oktoberfest takes place in the city of Munich in Bavaria, Germany. Up to this day, it is still held on the original meadow called Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Meadow”) or Wiesn where it was first held in 1810.
The popularity of the Munich Oktoberfest has since inspired similar events to take place in other other cities all over the world. Most of these were actually put up by German immigrants and their descendants.
How Did Oktoberfest Start?
The original Oktoberfest was actually a wedding. It took place in October 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. All the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the royal event which was held in the fields fronting the city gates.
The original Oktoberfest consisted of five days of pure merriment for all the citizens of Bavaria. Buns, Swiss cheese, muttons, cervelat sausages, and smoke sausages were distributed for free. All these came with several liters of beer and white wine. Theaters were opened and musicians played to entertain the crowd. A horse racing event was held during the last day of the celebration.
Oktoberfest was held once again the following year to promote Bavarian agriculture. It then continued to become a yearly festival, except during periods of war or epidemics. Since 1810, there were 24 years it hasn’t been celebrated for these reasons.
Oktoberfest continued to evolve through the years. Different activities were added to make the event more enjoyable. Carnival booths appeared. Although the original horse racing event is no longer held today, there were several new events that took place such as the “Gay Days”.
The costume and riflemen parade started to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of King Ludwig and Princess Therese and has since become one of the highlights of the festival.
Today, Oktoberfest has become more modernized, however, the organizers try to keep the “quiet Oktoberfest” alive through putting up beer tents for elderly and families. In response to rising violence during the event, only quiet brass music or traditional folk music are allowed to be played inside the tents up to 6:00pm. After that, pop or electric music can be played.