Experiencing the fervour and culture in any country is like having a cake and eating it too. That is possible if you make it a point to visit one or more cultural fests in a place you are visiting. One such cultural extravagance that people from across the world clamour to experience is the Oktoberfest.
Held every year in Munich, Germany, it is one of the largest well-known Volksfest in the world. Around 6 million people attend this beer festival and travelling funfair during the 16 to 18-day period.
The history of this Bavarian celebration is fascinating. October 2nd, 1810 is the day King Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The people of Munich joined the festivities to celebrate the royal event held in front of the city gates. The event areas were called Theresa’s Meadow (Theresienwiese) to honour the Crown Princess.
As per 15th-century tradition, on 18th October horse races were held to celebrate the nuptials of the King. Though the precise origin of the races and the fest are doubtful, the king decided to have the horse races and spectacle again in 1811. This celebration is known as the Oktoberfest today.
When is Oktoberfest
This festival is held in the second or the third week of September ending in the first week of October. Celebrating its 184th year, the Oktoberfest 2017 will begin on 16th September 2017 and end on 4th October 2017. Locally known as Wiesn, it is an important social event in Bavaria. It is celebrated in other parts of the world too.
What to do
There are plenty of things you can experience, see and do during this festival. You must try some of the best traditional food items like roast chicken(Hendi), grilled ham hock(Schweinshaxe), roast pork (Schweinebraten), sausages with pretzels (Würstl with Brezen), potato pancakes (Reiberdatschi) and more.
You can enjoy the amusement rides, spend time at side stalls or win a souvenir or two at the games.
There is an official tapping of the first Beer barrel ceremony by the mayor on 16th. A traditional costume parade through Munich on 17th and a family day on the 18th September that you can check out.
You may want to experience the traditional Oktoberfest brass-bands concert held at the feet of the Bavaria on the 24th of September.
What’s new this year at Oktoberfest 2017
This year the size of the fairgrounds in Munich has increased to 34.5hectares where you will find more food and Oktoberfest beer options too. Besides, six new fun rides will be added. They are the Drifting Coaster, the Voodoo Jumper, the XXL racer, the Jules Verne’s Tower -a chairoplane flight. If these giant rides are not enough, you can also take your children to experience a magical fairyland through the “Märchenlandexpress.”
Though the entry to the festival area and beer tents is free, you will have to pay for the rides and the food. You may want to bring your family on a Tuesday as the Oktoberfest tickets are sold at a discount.