More commonly referred to as Beerfest, Oktoberfest in Munich is a 16 day festival celebrating what else, but beer.
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.
During the 16 days festivities more than 6 million people from around the world consume more than 6 million litres of beer. That's 1 litre for every man, woman and child who attends.
Oktoberfest had a really unique beginning just over 200 years ago when Ludwig, the Crown Prince of Bavaria, later to become King Ludwig I, married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The residents of Munich attended the wedding, which was held on the fields in front of the city gates and the wedding was seen as a celebration for the whole of Bavaria. As part of the festivities horse races were held towards the end of the event. As an anniversary it was decided the following year to run the horse races again. Little did anyone know at the time, but 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.
So what can you do there I hear you ask? Well drink fantastic beer of course in some of the biggest and best beer venues in the world. The beer halls at Oktoberfest are often refered to beer tents and are non-permanent structures that are constructed for and only used during the festival. There are currently 14 large tents and 20 small tents at Oktoberfest, playing different types of music and entertainment to keep the crowds buzzing.
Not only are there massive beer tents, but the fesitval site has numerous amusement rides, schnapps tents and activities to amuse both young and old. Visitors may also enjoy a wide variety of traditional Bavarian delicacies including pork knuckles, bratwurst sausages, roast chicken, potato/bread dumplings and of course pretzels.
To be classified as Oktoberfest beer, only German beer conforming to the German Purity Law may be served. The beer must also be brewed within the city limits of Munich.
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.
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