Oktoberfest: The World’s Largest Beer Festival

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held annually in Munich, Germany. It is one of the world’s largest beer festivals and attracts millions of visitors from around the globe. The festival is a celebration of German culture, food, music, and of course, beer. In this article, we will explore the history, traditions, and attractions of Oktoberfest.

History of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest has its roots in the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810. The wedding celebration was held in a meadow outside Munich, which was named Theresienwiese in honor of the princess. The celebrations included horse racing, music, dancing, and of course, beer.

The horse racing was discontinued after a few years, but the other festivities continued to grow in popularity. In 1819, the festival was extended to 16 days, and in 1896, the first beer tents were introduced. Today, Oktoberfest is celebrated in cities all around the world, but the original festival in Munich remains the largest and most famous.

Attractions of Oktoberfest

Beer Tents

The beer tents are the heart and soul of Oktoberfest. There are 14 large tents and several smaller ones, each offering a different atmosphere and menu. The tents are named after famous German breweries and can hold up to 10,000 people. The tents are decorated with traditional Bavarian colors and motifs, and the waitresses and waiters are dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes.

The beer served at Oktoberfest is specially brewed for the festival and must conform to strict German brewing laws. The beer is served in one-liter glass mugs, called Maß, and costs around €11. The beer tents are open from 10 am to 10:30 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 10:30 pm on weekends.


Oktoberfest is not just about beer, but also about food. There are many traditional Bavarian dishes to try, including sausages, pretzels, roasted chicken, and sauerkraut. Vegetarian options are also available. The food is served in the beer tents and in outdoor stalls.

Rides and Games

In addition to the beer tents and food stalls, there are also many rides and games at Oktoberfest. The rides include roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and haunted houses. The games include traditional carnival games, such as shooting galleries and ring toss. The rides and games are located in an area called the Wiesn, which is separate from the beer tents.

Traditions of Oktoberfest

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of Oktoberfest takes place on the first Saturday of the festival. It begins with a parade of horse-drawn carriages, led by the mayor of Munich and the Oktoberfest landlord. The parade ends at the Theresienwiese, where the mayor taps the first keg of beer and declares “O’zapft is!” (It’s tapped!).


Traditional Bavarian clothes are a big part of Oktoberfest. Men wear lederhosen, which are leather shorts with suspenders, and women wear dirndls, which are dresses with a fitted bodice and full skirt. The clothes are usually decorated with embroidery and are worn with white socks and shoes.

Music and Dancing

Music and dancing are also important parts of Oktoberfest. Each beer tent has its own band, playing traditional Bavarian music and international hits. The music is lively and upbeat, and people dance on the benches and tables in the tents.


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