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An Introduction to Oktoberfest

Posted on 7th September 2014
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An Introduction to Oktoberfest

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Oktoberfest is one of the world's biggest fairs and takes part annually in Munich in the Bavarian heart of Germany. Many people around the world its best known for its celebration of beer and the millions of litres drunk each year. But, Oktoberfest isn't just an excuse to drink copious amounts of beer, its a family friendly festival that features huge attractions on the playing fields outside Munich. With plenty of great music and other performance acts, plenty of great traditional Bavarian food, and the many different rides and attractions of the huge funfair there is lots to keep visitors to Munich's Oktoberfest occupied all day, and night, long!
What is Oktoberfest?
Why all the fuss and what makes Oktoberfest worth getting involved with? Although there are literally thousands of Oktoberfest celebrations which take place around the world today its heart and starting point was in Munich. The capital of Bavaria, it’s the founding city and still home to the largest fair in the world. If you were to visit Oktoberfest you'll be one of over 6 million people who attend each year. And with a legacy dating back over two hundred years to the first Oktoberfest which took place in October 1810, the party looks set to continue!
The first Oktoberfest was a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I), and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, and it proved to be a popular event with the local Bavarians so continued on from 1812. Throughout it’s history, Oktoberfest has grown to suit the times, morphing through being a farm show with races, being cancelled during times of war and disease and finally becoming something like the annual event we see today during the 1950’s with the explosion in international interest occurring during the next decade when exploration and travel became affordable.
Since then, Munich's Oktoberfest has drawn millions of international visitors coming to experience this great slice of Bavarian culture. Today there are around 6 million visitors annually to Munich's Oktoberfest during the two and bit weeks of opening. And despite the high numbers that do attend Oktoberfest in Germany, there are many millions more who attend similar celebrations around the world with many huge beer tents and party venues being themed to resemble those in Munich with those attending being encourages to wear Bavarian costumes and hats.
What Can You Do at Oktoberfest Other than Drink Beer?
Admittedly the beer drinking and the atmosphere inside the huge beer tents is one of the major attractions with the majority of these tents being sponsored by the major brewers. With revellers drinking more than 7 million litres of beer during the festival it might seem that that’s all there is. But that’s not so, the beer tents are also famous for the great live music that's played through the day and evening so there's a real party atmosphere here.
Due to the confined space in the beer tents, people sit at long tables and are served with steins of beer by waitresses who continually supply the revellers. As a result f this confinement, special dances, which can be performed seated or standing, still have been developed and these are often performed numerous times during the evening. During the day the music is quieter so that families and those who don't like loud music can enjoy a few quieter drinks but when evening comes, the volume is turned up and you can experience some fabulous traditional Bavarian Oompa music.
And to soak up all that beer there's the simple but popular and tasty food. If you've ever wanted to try loads of Bavarian cuisine, Munich's Oktoberfest is a great place to do so. You can eat many famous and popular foods such as pretzels, sausages, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, cheese noodles and many more.
And if you haven't consumed too much why not enjoy the many rides and amusements that are here at Oktoberfest every year. There are many different fairground type rides and attractions ranging from gentle ones that are great for the kids, to adrenalin rushing fast and furious rides for the true thrill seekers!
And Why Does Munich's Oktoberfest Start in September?
Simple, so that more people can enjoy the celebrations it was decided to move Oktoberfest to the better weather period in the last few weeks of September. Today Oktoberfest takes place in the last couple of weeks of September ending within the first few days of October.
What Can I Do to Enjoy The Experience More?
The traditional dress in Bavaria is a pair of lederhosen shorts for men and boys with women wearing a dirndl, a dress worn with a cotton gypsy styled blouse. Lederhosen are worn with thick woollen socks and either a white or gingham shirt. Hats can either be Alpine styled or fedora shaped in green or brown with feather trim. Assembling an outfit can be very expensive if you’re only visiting so take advantage of the many Oktoberfest fancy dress costumes which are available today. These range from the very cheap Oktoberfest lederhosen which are perfect for Stag Nights and ale-swilling party nights, through to traditional leather and suede styles. Add some costume socks and a hat and you’re well set.
And if you’re intending to party at home, then there are ranges of Oktoberfest party decorations and tableswares which will allow you to perfectly complete the look of your party area. Wherever you choose to celebrate Oktoberfest this year we hope you have a fantastic time.  
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