We probably don’t need to introduce the world’s biggest folk fest. Whether you’re a beer lover or not, you’ve most likely heard of Oktoberfest. Once you experience it, you always want to come back and if you haven’t visited it jet, it is probably on your bucket list. To get you even more excited, here are 5 fun facts about the festival you probably didn’t know.
- It’s a wedding anniversary celebration.
Oktoberfest was originally not a beer festival. The first one was organised in 1810 as a celebration of King Ludwig and Princess Therese’s wedding. It took place at Theresienwiese (Theresia meadow) and this location has remained unchanged until today. In over 200 years, it has been cancelled 24 times, mostly due to wars or diseases.
- It starts in September
Even though the greater part of the event falls into September, it’s called Oktoberfest. Why is that? Back in 1810 it did take place in October and it only lasted a week. Over the years the beginning was being moved towards sunnier, warmer and more outdoor event-appropriate mid-September and festival was prolonged. This attracted more visitors, who stayed longer and drank more beer. Cheers all around!
- “It’s tapped!”
The festival is officially opened by a gun salute followed by the mayor of Munich opening the first beer barrel and shouting “It’s tapped!”. After that ceremony the Oktoberfest is open, and visitors may begin drinking themselves.
- Record-setting environment
Approximately 7 million litres of beer are served each year which is enough to fill almost 3 Olympic-size swimming pools. Every year there’s also a stein-carrying competition at the festival. The last record was set in 2008 by a German waitress Anita Schwartz who carried 19 beer steins over a 40-meter course.
- Family-friendly event
Though taking a child to a beer festival might not seem like responsible parenting, Oktoberfest is a kid and family friendly event and hundreds of children attend every year. It opens from 9am to 10 am and offers countless amusement rides for its young visitors. There’s even a lost and found children office!