Theresienwiese, 80339 München, Germany
GPS: 48.130895954016, 11.550941524524
Oktoberfest is one of the largest folklore festival in the world. This beer festival sets the rhythm of the Bavarian city of Munich and its region since the year 1810. It became a real institution at the end of the 19th century and celebrated its 210th anniversary in 2020.
The Oktoberfest was originally a horse race held in 1810 on the Theresienwiese (Wies’n) grounds as part of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, the future King Ludwig I, and Princess Theresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen. A horse race (last held in 1960) as the closing ceremony of this royal wedding was the basis for the creation of the Oktoberfest.
Every year, dozens of large and small beer tents are set up on the Theresienwiese fairground to welcome millions of visitors, most of whom are dressed in traditional costumes.
The opening day is marked by a large parade of costumes, cars and floats. The opening ceremony “O’ Zapft is” takes place in the presence of the mayor of the city of Munich who is responsible for inaugurating the first barrel of beer.
People from Munich usually go to the Oktoberfest at least 3 times (the first time with family, the second with friends and the third with colleagues from work). They wear traditional costumes called Tracht’n. The women usually wear braided hair and tied dirndl costumes (a kind of dress typical of the Bavarian Alps consisting of a bodice, corselet, full skirt and apron). The men wear short leather breeches held by straps (lederhosen), calf socks to protect themselves from the cold (loferl) and low shoes with side laces (haferl).
An exhibition on the Oktoberfest is held all year round in a museum at the Stadtmuseum in Munich (site Sankt-Jakobs-Platz). During the festival, official guides organize backstage tours or tours with a historical dimension of the Oktoberfest (reservation required). While the adults enjoy the lively atmosphere on site, children are invited to join the Oide Wiesn section to enjoy the entertainment of a huge funfair.