September has come, meaning that the celebrations for the most famous festival in the world have started, the Oktoberfest. We have all heard about this name at least once, and probably been to one as well.
We can say that it is “the most famous” or the one that most popularity has because it is literally celebrated in almost every country. At the same time other festivals that do not go under the name of “Oktoberfest” but they still get some inspiration from it in order to do their own. Coming back to the official one, sadly this year it will not be celebrated in Munich or some other cities in Germany. But that does not mean that in other parts of the world they will not celebrate theirs. In fact, in the United States they start with some celebrations from today. You can check our event calendar to find out if the Oktoberfest will be celebrated in your city.
Now as said before, we all know the name, but what about the history? Why someone ever thought about celebrating the Oktoberfest? Let’s dig in…
The first edition of the event took place on October 12th of 1810. At that time, it was not meant to be a beer festival but the wedding of Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen and consisted on a horse race. The venue for such an event was the ‘Theresienwiese’ (also known simply as Wiesn), which is an open field right next to the Munich wall. This first celebration had such a success that they continued to do it. However, they realised that start it in September was a much better idea to enjoy more summery weather. n 1910, the centenary of the beer festival was celebrated and 12,000 hectoliters of beer were served for 12,000 guests.
During the wars:
For obvious reasons the festival did not take place during the period where the wars happened. However, at the beginning of the interwar period, in 1919 and 1920 a festival was held which was called Herbstfest (Autumn Festival). Sadly, during the year 1923 and 1924 the event could not take place due to the exorbitant inflation that was at the moment.
After the war period, there were no cancellations regarding the Oktoberfest. Until the year 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Even this and the following year there will not be an Oktoberfest celebration. Hopefully a new edition in Munich will happen in 2023, fingers crossed.
Only the ones that conform to the Reinheitsgebot and brewed withing the city limits of Munich can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest. Those beer that meets these criteria are designated “Oktoberfest Beer” although the name also denotates two district beer styles; a traditional Märzen lager and a paler Festbier that is now more commonly served at Oktoberfest itself.
Currently there are fourteen large tents and twenty small tents that are mostly comformed by wood and non-permanent structures which are constructed for only used during the festival. The beer, and also wine, are served in each of them where you can also find tables to sit an enjoy the event with friends or family.
Oktoberfest around the world:
Of course, it is known that the German culture is everywhere. Meaning that many small villages, towns and cities have a German background and still celebrate the traditions of their culture. Not only Oktoberfest, but other festivities and events are kept alive thanks to them.
Between the countries that celebrate the beer festival we can name Unites States, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Australia, Canada. Hong Kong, and the list goes on.
As you can see, every place celebrates it mixing it with their own traditions and cultures but never forgetting the essence of its origins in Munich, Germany.