The Past and Present of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a grand celebration in Deutschland (Germany) known for its lively parties, lavish outfits, and, of course, copious amounts of beer. Many people think that Oktoberfest occurs throughout the entire month of October, but that actually is not the case. This traditional festival runs for about 16-18 days from the end of September into October. One thing is certain, Oktoberfest is an absolute blast. And we’re here to make sure you know your stuff before filling your pints.

People at a table drinking beer at Oktoberfest.

The History

It began in 1810 when Crowned Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese and invited every citizen of Munich to come and celebrate on the fields in front of the city gates. Quite the party, huh?! Five days after the wedding, horse races were held. A year later, the festivities were revived, this time adding a show to help market Bavarian agriculture. Due to the Napoleonic wars, the festival was canceled in 1813 but has since grown year after year. The horse races stopped after 1960, but the agriculture show is still held every four years.

What about the beer and the tents that make Oktoberfest so famous today? Well, it’s said that in 1910, the 100th annual Oktoberfest, over 120,000 liters of beer was consumed. In 1913, the first Beer Tent was built, and it was able to host over 12,000 people. Just imagine that!

People holding pretzels and beer at Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Today

Oktoberfest has evolved quite a bit over the years. The music is kept quiet during the day to accommodate the elderly and those with young children, and then at night, things ramp up into a much more party-like scene. The festival is so popular now, that in 2013, an estimated 6.4 million people visited to celebrate and over 6.7 million liters of beer were served.

Where to Celebrate

If you want to Oktoberfest properly, you have to head straight to the  “Theresienwiese”, which is also called “Festwiese” by the locals. This is the location of the first-ever Oktoberfest, and it’s undoubtedly to biggest Oktoberfest celebration you will find.

The tents, which start going up in June, each have their own unique vibe, and for the most part, they are equally popular. Our best advice is to find the one that suits your style and where you can get a seat.

So there you have it! Your quick and easy intro guide to Oktoberfest. Ready to start planning? Let’s go!

PROST! (Cheers!)