Music, Beer, Food and Much More at the Oktoberfest

Beer is one of the oldest and most popular alcoholic drinks in the world, probably second only to water and tea in terms of worldwide consumption. Many famous figures have sung praises of this beverage and some people have committed their entire lives to it. Such is its popularity that several countries today host multi-day events dedicated to it. One such spectacle is Germany’s famed Oktoberfest. The largest of its kind, it is essentially a beer festival and traveling fair where an abundance of food, live entertainment and of course, beer, is guaranteed.

However, it did not start as a food and wine festival. The first edition of what later became the Oktoberfest was held in the early 1800s to mark the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese in Munich, Bavaria. The wedding party, which was attended by the entire town, was such a hit that the young prince declared it an annual event. Attractions such as horse races, carnival booths, tree climbing and more were added, and the Oktoberfest grew with each year. Today, this beer festival runs for over two weeks and draws in a humongous crowd that consumes millions of liters of the good stuff.

More so than anything else, the Oktoberfest celebrates the traditions and customs of Bavaria. Thus, it is natural that the only alcohol available at this folk festival is that which has been brewed in Munich. Oktoberfest beers, as these are called, are especially potent and have been described as being “delicious without being extravagant” by connoisseurs. Within the festival grounds also exists the Weinzelt (wine tent) that not only sells up to 15 different types of wine but also sparkling wine and champagne.

One might mistake the Oktoberfest as one big rave replete with alcohol. This, however, isn’t the case. Despite its late closing times, the festival opens early in the morning and is a pretty family-friendly event. With more than 80 rides, it is akin to a state fair and draws a large number of families during the day. The organizers strive to keep the atmosphere appropriate for families and the elderly, in the beer tents especially, and only traditional folk music is allowed until the evening.

The Oktoberfest beautifully mixes the past with the present and truly embodies the definition of a community. This makes it a must-attend fete for everyone who wishes to experience the best of Bavaria and meet a group of like-minded individuals.

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