What can be said about the legendary 16-day long annual Bavarian beer and traditional food festival that has not been said? It’s simply a festival you have to experience at least once in your lifetime and can be categorised by the acronym:
B. E. E.R (brew, empty, enjoy, repeat)
The Oktoberfest is held annually in the southern German region of Bavaria from the 22nd of September to the 7th of October and is the largest beer festival in the world, attracting some 6 million visitors from across the globe, with 7.5 million litres of beer consumed at last year’s festival alone. However, visitors can also look forward to amusement rides like Ferris Wheels, carousels and roller coasters or meander alongside stalls and souvenir shops, listen to live bands, and sing along to some famous beer hall songs at the festival.
The very 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 wedding festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October the 17th At the time, the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. In the years to follow, the celebrations were repeated and over time the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September to accommodate the warmer weather conditions, so visitors could enjoy the evening tent atmosphere as well as a stroll through the gardens.
Among the many attractions, the “liquid gold” Bavarian beer itself is the undisputed hero of the festival, and helps to open all conversations, widening the circle of friendship to all visitors.
Oktoberfest visitors won’t have an easy time deciding where to drink or dine with 14 large tents and 20 smaller tents to choose from. That’s a massive variety of food, drinks and great atmosphere, each one more awesome than the other, and when the live-bands start performing, that’s the time when the real Oktoberfest party begins. But to adequately accompany serious partying, serious nourishment is required. Luckily the food throughout Oktoberfest is as delicious salty or sweet and makes the perfect accompaniment to beer.
Here are some 11 delicious traditional Oktoberfest foods, guaranteed to hit the spot and help the beer go down more smoothly:
- Roast Chicken with crispy skin
- Schweinebraten (roast pork)
- Schweinshaxe (roasted ham hock)
- Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick)
- Würstl (sausages)
- Brezen (pretzels)
- Knödel (potato or flour dumplings)
- Käsespätzle (cheese noodles)
- Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes)
- Sauerkraut (pickled sweet and sour cabbage)
- Obatzda (spiced cheese-butter spread)
As a festival tradition, you can visit the big tent owners and breweries parade. With about 1000 people participating from traditional dancers, waitresses holding big beer mugs, you can also see horse carts decorated with flowers, big brass bands from the beer tents, and the impressive beer wagons with garlands and big wooden barrels. The parade starts at 10:45 on September 22, 2018. The Starting point is the Josephspitalstrasse in the Munich city centre as is about a 7km stretch on to the Oktoberfest via Bavariaring. Tradition states that the parade is headed by the Münchner Kindl, the Munich City Mascot; they are then followed by the horse cart with the mayor of Munich.
Many people like to dress up to fully enjoy the Bavarian ambiance and experience. Women wear an outfit known as a Dirndl. The typical Dirndl consists of a tight-fitting bodice over a puffy, white blouse and a full skirt. A typical guys outfit at Oktoberfest will have a button-up shirt (either white or checkered), leather Lederhosen shorts with suspenders, an Alpine hat, and sturdy Bavarian shoes
If you’re an avid beer enthusiast the following Munich Breweries will be offering their finest at the festival this year. They include:
- Augustiner founded in 1328, and still using wooden barrels to store their product.
- Hacker Pschorr founded in 1417, this beer is still sold in the traditional flip lid bottles.
- Hofbräu founded in 1589 and one of the strongest beers offered at the festival this year with 6,3 % alcohol.
- Lowenbrau hosting a tent with a renowned mechanical moving lion as a festival landmark in the image of its lion bottle logo.
- Paulaner a stout beer established in 1634 by the Minim Friars, one of the later Munich beers at the festival, invented by brother Barnabus.
- Spatel brewery founded in 1397 and has been owned by the Sedlmayr family for 200 years. They also own the Franziskaner brewery.
Oktoberfest’s motto is easy; let your hair down, engage with people from all over the world and simply enjoy life.
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