10 Facts about the Quirky German Oktoberfest Festival

10 Facts about the Quirky German Oktoberfest Festival

One of the favorite events on the festival calendar in Europe is Oktoberfest. This is the largest and most famous beer festival in the world. The venue is in the City of Munich, Germany, and starts in September.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 Oktoberfests have been canceled. This festival will be held again from September 17 – to October 3, 2022.

This event does not only contain beer drinking activities but also other events, such as culinary delights, rides for children, music, and traditional German clothes. For those of you who are not too familiar with this festival, here are the facts about the German Oktoberfest.

  1. History

It turns out that the beer festival was originally a celebration of the wedding of the Bavarian crown prince, later King Louis I, who married Princess Therese von Saxony-Hildburghausen.

The first festival was held on October 12, 1810, and lasted for five days then ended with a horse racing event which was held in an open area.

The horse racing event is called the Theresienwiese. The following year the race was combined with the state agricultural fair. Then in 1818, a booth was introduced that served food and drinks.

In the late 20th century, the booths developed into a large beer hall made of plywood. The room is equipped with an indoor balcony and an orchestra stage. Each Munich brewer erected a temporary building that had a seating capacity of about 6,000.

To open the festival, the Mayor of Munich will knock on the first barrel. The total amount of beer consumption during Oktoberfest is around 75,800 hectoliters or about 2 million gallons.

At the festival, a parade is held and the brewery is represented by the appearance of beer carts and floats complete with people wearing traditional clothes.

Other entertainment at the festival, includes amusement rides, games, music, and dances. Every year Oktoberfest attracts more than six million people and most of them are tourists.

  1. Been Canceled 24 Times

In the last 209 years, Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times. The reason is because of the cholera epidemic or war. In 1813 the festival was canceled due to the Battle of Leipzig between several European countries against Napoleon. Then it was canceled again in 1854 and 1873 due to a cholera epidemic.

Then in 1866, the festival was again canceled due to the Prussian War between Prussia and countries such as Austria and Bavaria. In 1870 the Franco-Prussian War broke out and the festival was once again canceled.

World War I which occurred from 1914-to 1918 made the festival canceled. While in 1919 and 1920, the festival was simply referred to as the autumn festival. The festival was again canceled due to inflation in 1923 and 1924.

From 1939 to 1945 Oktoberfest was again postponed during World War II. Like the previous wartime, the festival was simply called the autumn festival in ’46, ’47, and ’48.

  1. Called Oktoberfest but Started in September

Even though the name is “October”, it turns out that this event is mostly held in September. The festival, which began in 1810, was held for one week in October.

But in the following years, the event was extended and the start date was changed to September because the warmer weather was also more pleasant. Surely it will be easier to attract more visitors to stay longer and enjoy a beer all night long.

  1. It is only allowed to drink after being opened by the mayor

At this festival, people can not drink as they please. People are only allowed to drink after the mayor opens the festival. It was only when he said “O’ zapft is” at the opening ceremony that took place on the first day that people were allowed to start drinking his beer.

To witness this, visitors must be in one place, namely the Schottenhamel tent. Here visitors will experience a Bavarian tradition, where the Mayor of Munich will be given the honor of knocking on the first keg of Oktoberfest beer during the day. Once the first beer keg opened, everyone could get a beer and Oktoberfest officially started.

  1. Child-friendly Festival

Although this festival is filled with beer drinking activities and certainly not for consumption by children, this event has changed its image over the last few years. Festival organizers have tried to move the festival’s image as a place for alcoholic drinks to a more family-friendly one.

Oktoberfest is now equipped with a carnival and is even bigger than in previous years. The festival features a Ferris wheel, games, a roller coaster, and a traditional Bavarian parade which is open to people of all ages.

Why Oktoberfest is such an important and popular event for the City of Munich, the reason is not only because of hedonism, but also a necessity. Formerly Southern Bavaria was known for its poor supply of clean water.

Therefore, to avoid cholera, plague, and other bad diseases, the locals will quench their thirst with an alternative drink, namely beer which is safer and arguably tastier.

Since the 19th century, water purification has developed rapidly, so the tradition of replacing water with beer is of course no longer necessary. So beer is no longer consumed as it used to be. Therefore, drink for health alias not excessive or ‘Zum Wohl!’ as the Germans chant, which means “for health!”

  1. Only Munich Beer Allowed

Oktoberfest is a celebration of Bavarian tradition, so beer that is allowed to be served during the festival must be brewed within Munich’s city limits. So not all beer brands are at this festival. Only beers that meet the criteria set by the government are considered Oktoberfest Beers.

Weeks before the start of the Oktoberfest, the brewery served freshly brewed Wiesn beer. There are six breweries in the state capital that are allowed to serve beer in Wiesn mugs. These breweries include:

  1. Have Another Show

Maybe this fact to some people like making it up, but Oktoberfest is not just a liquor festival. A very important factor in this festival is the music.

Each tent serving alcoholic beverages features a brass band or brass band playing modern hits played to traditional German Oompah classical music.

If visitors don’t like song or dance, they can head to the Armbrustschützenzelt tent. It is a popular pavilion for locals and internationals alike.

Here visitors can spend time drinking the signature Oktoberfest beer, devouring the pork, and practicing their archery skills in the annual arrow competition.

  1. Paris Hilton Is Banned From Attending Oktoberfest Forever

The legal age for drinking at Oktoberfest is 14 years. They can join the party when accompanied by an adult. In addition, the security forces will prohibit people from drinking excessively.

Paris Hilton appeared at the Oktoberfest festival wearing a typical Bavarian ‘dirndl’ which is a traditional Oktoberfest dress.

The American socialite emerged in 2006 to promote the canned wine brand, without any prior talks with the organizers of the Oktoberfest. Therefore the public was furious and he was expelled from the festival and prohibited from attending again.

  1. There is a Lost and Found Office

With so many people getting drunk after drinking, it’s not surprising that the Lost and Found Oktoberfest office is filled with thousands of leftovers every year. Items commonly found are passports, wallets, cell phones, bags, and backpacks as well as cameras in the thousands to hundreds.

There were also some strange finds, such as hearing aids, wedding rings, dentures, to pencil-shaped tombstones. There is also a claim from one of the poor beer sellers claiming to have cash of 50,000 Euros.

  1. Mugs Are Not Souvenirs

Every year festival goers and customers are trying to get free memorabilia in the form of the official Oktoberfest beer mug. The one-liter glass is a much sought-after souvenir. But actually, the mug belongs to the owner of the hall or beer tent.

Security guards were specially stationed near the tent entrances and ordered to keep an eye on the mugs of people leaving the tent. Every year More than 200 thousand glasses are found by security staff. Visitors who bring the mug could be charged with theft. These same mugs are available for purchase at Oktoberfest locations.

Oktoberfest is a big festival and is visited by not only locals but also foreign tourists. This festival attracts many people to attend. The unique thing is that now Oktoberfest can also be attended by children because there are interesting rides for them.

At the festival, the type of beer sold is not arbitrary, only those that have been approved by the government. Maybe because you are drunk, the effect is that the office loses things, aka lost and found, getting lots of things that are left behind. Does this fact make you want to attend this festival?