Put on your lederhosen, grab a beer mug and get ready for the unforgettable Oktoberfest!
1. Oktoberfest in September?
Despite its name, Oktoberfest actually starts in late September. This year, the 16-day event will be taking place from 16 September to 3 October 2017.
2. Where it all began
Believe it or not, Oktoberfest didn’t start out as a beer festival. In fact, this 207-year-old tradition originally took place in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Over the years, beer, wine, parades, performers, carnival rides and colourful costumes were added to the mix. And the rest, as they say, is history!
3. It’s not all about the beer
While beer is certainly the hero of the festival, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Music is a huge theme at the festival and you’ll be able to boogie to everything from big brass bands playing traditional Bavarian music to the latest billboard hits. And let’s not forget the food! Tuck into delicious German fare including succulent eisbein, giant pretzels, bratwurst, sauerkraut and more. Throw in a bunch of carnival rides, colourful side shows, performers, dancers and acrobats, and you’ve got yourself the party of a lifetime!
4. Not just any beer
When it comes to Oktoberfest, don’t expect to find just any old beer on tap. Specially brewed Oktoberfestbier is the only brew served, and it’s made by just six Munich-based breweries. Oktoberfestbier is known to be particularly strong, with an alcohol content of up to 6.3%.
5. Facts and stats
When it comes to the numbers, Oktoberfest doesn’t disappoint. Over seven million people flock to the festival every year and swig over seven million litres of beer – that’s enough to fill nearly three Olympic-size swimming pools! Beer isn’t the only booze on offer, with at least 150 000 litres of wine and champagne flowing into glasses too. Locals love it, and up to 80% of festival-goers are from Germany itself. Beer mugs are known to be great souvenirs, with up to 100 0000 people trying to sneak off with theirs before having them confiscated and taken back to the beer tents.
6. O’ zapft is!
Before anyone can take their first swig, the Mayor of Munich has to give the go ahead. Everyone watches as the very first barrel of beer is cracked open and the Mayor shouts ‘O’ zapft is!’ which means ‘it’s tapped’. And that’s when the party really kicks off.
7. Learn the lingo
One of the most useful German phrases is definitely ‘Noch ein Bier, bitte’. It means’ ‘another beer please!’, and you’ll be saying it plenty of times before the festival is over. Prost!