What is Oktoberfest
What is Oktoberfest
The real purpose behind the Oktoberfest is not what most people imagine. Today this is the largest beer fest in the world, but it was originally a wedding party for Crown Prince Ludwig when he married Princess Therese on October 12, 1810.
The royal family decided to invite all the citizens of Munich to this gathering that was to be held at the city gates. The Price wanted all of his people to join in on the festivities of drinking and eating. To help entertain the masses the also had a horse racing event scheduled. The very first Oktoberfest was attended by nearly 40,000 people.
The following year the celebration was held again. The main reason was to help boost the agriculture sector of business in the Bavarian area. To help advance this theme the agriculture show was established and is still part of the event but only every three years now.
As the years rolled by, more and more attractions joined in on the annual event. There were carnival rides joining in and the special Oktoberfest beer was soon starting to be produced. The very first kegs were tapped at the festival each year to make the opening of the celebration.
By 1819, the leaders of Munich decided to change the event and eliminated the horse races and made this a drinking party which served the special beer in one litre German Beer Steins. This was the beginning of the modern tradition of the 16 day drinking party we all know. The leaders of Munich made the decision to hold this even annually. The only time Oktoberfest was canceled was due to the wars, the cholera breakouts and a few times when the economic situation would not permit it.
The first electrical illumination of this festival occurred in 1881. This was a welcome relief since the previous year the event was canceled by the second cholera epidemic. This year there were over 400 beer booths that adored the Oktoberfest grounds. This was also the very first year bratwursts were sold at the festival.
In 1910 the 100th year of Oktoberfest had over 120,000 litres of beer severed. The beer tents were also growing with the introduction of the Braurosl in 1913 that could house 12,000 guests.
The year 2010 is the 200th anniversary of this event. It begins so the event will end on the first Sunday in October each year and will last for 16 days. If the first Sunday is the 1st or the 2nd, then the event will last 17 or 18 days respectively.
Today along with enjoying the special beer from the traditional German Beer Steins, many foods are also available including Hendl or chicken, Wurst or the many sausages that are readily available, the pretzels are called Brezn and the roast pork is Schweinebraten.
Just to give you an idea how far Oktoberfest has grown, the first year had 40,000 guests. In 2007 there were 6.2 million people that attended. The grounds have grown for just outside the Munich city gates to the Oktoberfest fair grounds that cover 103 acres.
If you really want to know the Oktoberfest is, it can be summarized as a big party to enjoy beer, food and music for all to enjoy.