There are many folk festivals in Europe including medieval re-enactment festivals, beer festivals, Roman re-enactment festivals, singing festivals in the Baltic States (plan ahead and visit Estonia for its traditional song festival for an extra treat), and many, many more. But the largest Volkfest is the world-famous Oktoberfest of Germany's Bavaria.
Oktoberfest is the most popular occasion to celebrate Bavarian culture and heritage. If one would like to attend, one should plan ahead as the festival is very popular and tables can sell out. Also, really get into the spirit of the Oktoberfest and get oneself the full kit of traditional Bavarian clothes.
What Is Oktoberfest & Why Is It Celebrated?
At the heart of the Oktoberfest (or October festival) is beer - lots of beer - like heaps of beer. The Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich in Germany's Bavaria and lasts 16 to 18 days. It attracts 6 million visitors from all around the world and is considered an important part of Bavarian culture.
- Duration: 16 to 18 Days
- Visitors: Over 6 Million
During the 16-odd days of the festival, around 7.7 million liters or 1.7 million gallons of Oktoberfest Beer are drunk.
- Beer: 1.7 Million Gallons of Beer Are Served
The Oktoberfest is not just about beer, there are many other attractions like amusement rides, side stalls, and various games. Visitors also enjoy the best of traditional Bavarian foods.
The origin of Oktoberfest and why Oktoberfest is celebrated is an odd one. It first started on October 12, 1810, as a two-week-long celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria (who went on to become king) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festival concluded with a horse race.
- Origin: Royal Bavarian Wedding Celebration In 1810
Over the years, Oktoberfest has changed to what is seen today in Munich (without horse races and royalty).
The Upcoming Oktoberfest 2022
After two years of being canceled because of the pandemic, Oktoberfest is finally coming back in 2022! The dates have been confirmed to run from 17th September to 3rd October 2022. It will be the 187th festival. Finally, the world is returning to normal, and after being canceled in both 2020 and 2021, Oktoberfest 2022 has no planned restrictions because of corona.
- Date: 17th September to 3rd October 2022
- Pandemic Restrictions: No Planned Covid Restrictions for Oktoberfest 2022
Where Is Oktoberfest To Be Held
Oktoberfest is to be held in Munich like it always is. It will be held at the largest fairground in Munich - the Theresienwiese (or Green Theresia in English after the princess).
- Where: The Fairgrounds in Munich
This is the same location as the Spring Festival or the Winter Tollwood are held at other times of the year. It is recommended to take public transport there with the city's metro lines servicing the grounds with the underground stations "Theresienwiese", "Goetheplatz" and "Schwanthalerhöhe".
Plan Ahead And Make A Table Reservation for The Oktoberfest
If coming as a group, it is important to plan ahead and reserve one of the tables in one of the tents. To make a reservation, one must book online or by telephone. If one can't make a reservation, with a bit of luck one may still be able to get a spot as part of the tables is always kept free for spontaneous visitors - but that is not guaranteed.
With a reservation, come beverage and food vouchers that can be used to pay the Oktoberfest waiters dressed in their traditional Bavarian clothes. Reservation offices for the tents can be found on the official website.
Tent Opening Times:
- Saturday, Sundays, Public Holidays: The Tents Open At 9.00 am
- Monday to Friday: Tent Open At 10.00 am
- Lights Out: 11.30 pm (There Are exceptions)
The tents are open (on Saturday) from 9.00 and from 10.00 there are alcohol-free drinks (except beer). The festival really starts at midday with the call "Ozapft is!”. The barrel is tapped and the Wiesn is officially opened.
The Traditional Bavarian Dress At The Oktoberfest
- Trousers: See The Germans In their Leather Trousers
- Dirndl Robes: The Traditional Bavarian Dresses for Women
As a side note, the side on which the girl wears the bow of the apron displays whether she is single, widowed, or in a relationship.