How This German Tradition Became The Party of a Lifetime
Grab your best lederhosen! Get your belly ready to consume steins of beer and pretzels because Oktoberfest kicks off this month! Originally a royal wedding celebration in Munich, Germany, it has grown to worldwide popularity with beer and music flowing. It’s considered one of the best festivals in the world, where everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is a 16 to 18 day festival in Munich, Germany that starts in late September and runs through early October. It began when Crown Prince Ludwig wed Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. Locals were invited to attend the wedding party on the fields outside the gates of Munich. 40,000 Bavarian citizens showed up and much eating, drinking, and dancing ensued.
The celebration ended in horse races. The fields were renamed Theresienwiese,” or “Therese’s fields” in honor of the princess. The meadow is called “Wies’n” and remains the site of Oktoberfest.
The celebration was so memorable that the royal couple had it again the following year with an additional agricultural festival (the horse races are no longer part of Oktoberfest, but the agricultural festival is held every three years). For the next two hundred years, except for twenty-four cancellations because of war, inflation, and cholera epidemics, Oktoberfest has remained a steadfast tradition.
The celebration coincides with local beer makers who celebrate the end of summer. The season’s warm temperatures are the ideal time to brew stouts, porters, and ales. Local beer traditions and Oktoberfest were combined to make the ideal festival for everyone to eat, drink, and be merry.
How did it last so long?
The celebration added more amusement rides, huge beer halls, and other activities, including a magic show and carnival booths over the course of the nineteenth century. A roller coaster was built in 1908. By the turn of the twentieth century, Oktoberfest was becoming a major tourist destination.
The construction of railroads brought tourists in from outside of Munich. Local officials realized the money-making potential, so they extended the length of the festival and moved it up to late September in order to take advantage of late summer weather.
Nowadays, locals and tourists alike dress in traditional lederhosen and dirndls to swig beers and enjoy life in the last haze of summer.
Planning a Memorable Event
The success of Oktoberfest shows that an unforgettable local celebration can be a lucrative business. When you work with us, we can make your next event just as impressive. Planning your next event should not just take one day; it’s an entire experience. Cherish your next event without worry by talking with us today!