The annual October festival, the famous Oktoberfest (Wiesn) hop festival, will begin soon at our western neighbors. The event with over 200 years of tradition is the largest folk festival in the world, and it attracts around 7 million people to Błonia Teresa every year. Tourists come from all over the world to celebrate, taste beer and local delicacies for three weekends.
In 2018, the Oktoberfest will start at noon on September 22nd and will last until October 7th, 23.30. Tents open on weekdays at 10:00 and close at 23:30. On weekends, they accept guests from 9.00 a.m. and you can buy beer until 10.30 p.m. There are two exceptions, which close at 1.00 am: Win's tent and Käfer Wiesnschänke.
It is very easy to get to the festival. From the train station, you can reach Oktoberfest directly on the U4 and U5 lines of the U-Bahn (stop “Theresienwiese”).
How did it start?
Despite its name, the Munich beer festival does not start in October - although it used to be like that. The Oktoberfest was organized for the first time on October 12, 1810, on the occasion of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, later King of Bavaria, and Princess Teresa von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Horse races took place on the meadows stretched outside the city walls, which we know today as Theresienwiese (Teresy Błonia or Teresy's Meadows). Due to the fact that Prince Louis was passionate about antiquity, the tournaments resembled the Olympic Games. The inhabitants liked this event so much that the royal court decided to repeat it at the same time next year.
The spontaneously established tradition was interrupted several times: in 1813 (Napoleonic wars), in 1854 and 1873 (cholera epidemic), in 1866 (the seven-week war) and in 1870 (Franco-Prussian war). The war turmoil barely stopped, in 1872 the event was postponed to September due to the weather, which means that the October festival is held a month earlier to this day.
And where does this fascination with beer come from? Festivals devoted to him (Oktoberfests) were not uncommon in Bavaria. Their origins are to be found in the 16th-century Bavarian Purity Law , which allows beer to be brewed only from the end of September to the end of April. Before the brewing of a new beer was started, it was necessary to use it from the passing season - that is, the source of love for the golden drink can be found in reason. Nothing should be wasted. Thus, Oktoberfests were organized at the turn of September and October , and their aim was to empty barrels for new beer.
Today, the festival is a huge event for tourists from all over the world. Oktoberfest, also known by the inhabitants of Munich as Wiesn (short for Theresienwiese), is concentrated around 14 large tents offering space for 10,000 people and 21 smaller tents - food outlets. At weekends, they are already filled with celebrations by noon, so the rest of the willing, who were not lucky enough to get into one of the 105,000 places, sit in the beer gardens spread around the tents.
The event has four main points. On the first Saturday of Oktoberfest , the hosts of the festival come to the meadows, appearing with the staff on beautifully decorated carriages. The next day, the Trachten- und Schützenumzug , a costumes parade, takes place. It is the largest parade in the world - a crowd of approx. 9,000 people passes through the city center. On the second Sunday of the festival, another largest event of this kind in the world takes place - a concert of brass bands . Artists from different tents gather on the steps in front of the Bavarian statue to participate in a joint concert. Last Sunday, a Böllerschießen , or mortar shooting, takes place in front of the statue.
The inauguration of the 2018 Oktoberfest edition will take place at noon on September 22, when the mayor of Munich opens the first barrel of beer . From that moment on, the participants of the festival can order beer from 6 Munich breweries, brewed especially for this occasion, in their tents. Willing people can taste Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr and Paulaner. Also on sale is Augustiner, beer from the oldest brewery in Munich
Admission to the festival is free , but it is worth remembering that it is an event that enjoys great popularity. It is wise to come as early as possible, otherwise we will not get into the tents, but only there you can buy beer and snacks. It's best to be there in the morning on weekends, and no later than 2.30 PM on weekdays. Beer will not be served to anyone who is not seated.
Oktoberfest Tuesdays are family days . There are numerous carousels waiting for the little ones, including Krynolina, which has its own brass band, as well as the Olympia Looping cable car, Toboggan slide, Teufelsrad (Devil's wheel) and a whole lot of other attractions. You can also buy roasted almonds and cotton candy. Reduced prices apply on Tuesdays from noon to 18.00. Children are allowed at the Oktoberfest grounds, but toddlers under the age of 6 must leave the pavilions by 8:00 PM, even if they are accompanied by their parents.
If, after closing the tents, someone is still in a party mood, you can continue the evening at the Hacker-Pschorr beer pub, located about 50 meters from the festival, or in the Laurent-Perrier Après-Wiesn (formerly Wiesnzelt) in Löwenbräukeller. Waiting for guests from 22.00.
The next edition of Oktoberfest will start on September 21, 2019 and will last until October 6.
A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)