Festivals & Events

What is Oktoberfest? Everything You Need to Know About the World’s Largest Volksfest

Oktoberfest is a celebration of great local beers, awesome people, and it’s all anchored in classic Bavarian culture – learn more about the annual beer festival, Oktoberfest.

What is Oktoberfest? Everything You Need to Know About the World’s Largest Volksfest
First Rule of Oktoberfest:
It’s written Oktoberfest, not “Octoberfest”

 

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is the BIGGEST folk festival in the world. It is attended by millions of people from around the world who flock to Munich, Bavaria, Germany to eat traditional foods, listen to traditional music, wear traditional Bavarian garb (lederhosen for men and dirndl for women and tirolerhute unisex hats) and of course drink the famous Oktoberfest/Marzen beer. It is celebrated from mid-September to the beginning of October. The festival begins with the opening ceremony which has been the same since 1950. The mayor of Munich taps the first keg and gives the first glass to a person being honoured usually the Prime Minister or another minister in attendance.

 

Munich Oktoberfest events not to be missed:
  • Official Tapping of the Keg (AKA: Opening Ceremony)
  • Costume and Riflemen’s Parade (first Wiesn Sunday)
  • Parade of Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries
  • “Böllerschießen” (handheld canon salute) in front of the Bavaria statue

 

Oktoberfest Video & Tips:

What is Oktoberfest, what should you wear, and more info about Germany’s largest beer event

 

Oktoberfest History
What is Oktoberfest celebrated for?

The historical background: the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honour of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810, and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.

 

Why is it called Oktoberfest when it is in September?

By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.

 


What do you wear to Oktoberfest?

Obviously, your best Dirndl or Lederhosen paired with some beer-proof sneakers!


 

What is an Oktoberfestbier or Marzen Beer?

Oktoberfest beer or Marzen is a brewed in March especially for Oktoberfest. It has a gravity 2% higher than regular beers and has been served at the festival since 1818. The main suppliers of Okbtoberfestbier are the Club of Munich Brewers which include: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner-Bräu, Hofbräu-München, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr.

Traditionally Oktoberfestbiers were lagers of around 5.5 to 6 ABV. They are brewed in March and ferment slowly throughout the summer months. Originally these were dark lagers, but slowly the colour has become lighter and lighter. Since 1990, they have been a golden colour. Some Munich brewers still produce darker versions, but these are mostly for export to the USA.

 


Want to attend an Oktoberfest?
Check out these Oktoberfest events around the world.

 

Looking for more about Oktoberfest activities, attire, and tips? Check out these other great posts:

List of Oktoberfests Around The World
How to Pick Lederhosen for Oktoberfest
How to Pick the Perfect Dirndl for Oktoberfest
Foods for the 16 Days of Oktoberfest


 

Prost!

(That means cheers in German)

 

 

Related Posts

Festivals & Events

#YEGBeerFest 2018: Great People Drink Great Beer!

Edmonton Craft Beer Fest is just around the corner. Here are 10 Ways To Be A Beer Festival Einstein And Get The Most Out Of Your Edmonton Craft Beer Festival Experience. #YEGBeerFest

Breweries, Pubs & Restaurants

12 Breweries to Watch the Super Bowl at in Canada

Wondering where to watch the Super Bowl in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and more? Check out these craft breweries that will be showcasing the NFL finals!

Festivals & Events

EVENTS at YYCBeerWeek 2018: Calgary’s Craft Beer Week

#YYCBeerWeek is back for it’s second year! Join beer lovers all around the great city of Calgary to celebrate our craft brewers and talented chefs all while giving back to the community. Great brews, delicious food, charity donations, good times and a sense of community is what this week is all about.

Festivals & Events

Must-See Canadian Beer Festivals in 2018

If you’re a tourist and Canada is your destination, do something different – mingle with the locals by hitting up a local beer festival. If Canada is your home, chances are you’ll run into a beerfest near you at some point this year. There are dozens of great Canadian beer festivals all across the country offering up the best local and international brews.

Festivals & Events

Calgary & Edmonton Beer Events in September 2019

Check out these amazing beer events happening in September 2019 in Calgary, Edmonton and other places in Alberta!