1. It’s called October but starts on September
The name “Oktober” is misleading because most of the festival happens in September.
The event started in 1810 and at that time it took place during one week of October, but along the years it was extended and the starting date was changed to September because the weather is warmer and more pleasing, therefore it’s easier to attract more visitors to stay even longer and enjoy the beer (and festival) throughout the night.
2. Munich beer only
Oktoberfest is, above all, a celebration of Bavarian traditions, so the only beer you’ll find during the festival is brewed within the city limits of Munich. Only beers that fit this criteria are considered Oktoberfest Beers.
Breweries allowed at the Oktoberfest
3. It is a 204-year-old tradition that wasn’t originally a beer festival
The first Oktoberfest was held to honor the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, in 1810. Now that’s what we call a wedding party!
4. They’ve cancelled it 25 times
You can’t stop beer pouring! In 210 years, Oktoberfest has only been cancelled 25 times. The causes were mostly due to the war, cholera epidemics and COVID19
5. Vomit-proof sneakers for Oktoberfest
With so much beer being consumed it’s obvious that some people might feel sick and end up puking… And that’s why Adidas recently released a limited edition of vomit-proof sneakers inspired by the Oktoberfest.
6. Locals call it “Wiesn”
It’s named after the Theresienwiese, which is the name of the land where it takes place, and it’s also named after Therese, the Princess that was married there. It’s pronounced as “Vizen”.
7. Nobody raises their mug until the Mayor says so
Since 1950, the festival has only started after the official gun salute and the mayor shouting O’ zapft is! (“It’s tapped!”) and offering the first mug to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. Only after that, can the festival start.
8. Beer prices start at $11
9. People drank 7.5 million litres in 2011. A Record
10. The beer is specially brewed for Oktoberfest and it’s extra strong.
As a result, it could be dangerous for some. Around 600-800 people suffer from alcohol poisoning each year.
11. German efficiency is real
Experienced bartenders only need about 1.5 seconds to fill a liter stein with beer.
12. There are 14 large beer hall tents
The most famous one is Schottenhamel because it’s where the mayor taps the first keg and the biggest one is Hofbräu-Festhalle which seats almost 11,000 people.
13. There are around 140 restaurants and food stands.
14. But it opens between 9am and 10am and closes between 11:30PM and midnight
It’s actually family-friendly. Kind of like a state fair with more than 80 rides.
15. Despite the international appeal, it’s still a surprisingly local affair
Less than 20% of the visitors aren’t from Germany.
16. Albert Einstein, once worked as an electrician and helped to set up one of the beer tents in 1896.
17. In 1892, beer was first served in glass mugs.
They were traditionally made of stone, then they created them with metal but now they’re mostly made of glass.
18. Church and Oktoberfest
Sounds out of place? Well, they hold a mass every first Thursday of the Oktoberfest in the Hippodrome tent.
19. It’s a surprisingly kid-friendly zone
The idea of bringing children to a massive beer festival might seem pretty far out, but the truth is that there are hundreds of children attend the festival every year. There are ferris wheel, roller coasters, games and traditional Bavarian parades.
20. Paris Hilton is permanently banned from Oktoberfest.
She went to the event dressed in a golden and shiny Bavarian Drindl to promote a brand of canned wine. Locals got the organizers to ban her because they were offended by how she was dressed.
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