Oktoberfest (German pronunciation: [ɔkˈtoːbɐˌfɛst]) is the world’s largest beer festival or Volkfest. Held annually in Munich, Germany, it is a 16-18-day folk festival. It typically runs from mid- or late-September to the first weekend in October. More than six million people around the world attend the event every year. Locally, it is often called the Wiesn, after the colloquial name for the fairgrounds, Theresa’s meadows (Theresienwiese). The Oktoberfest first began in the year 1810 and is now a worldwide phenomenon celebrating Bavarian culture and flowing pints of beer.
Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration more than 200 years ago when Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The wedding was celebrated with multiple days of drinking, feasting and horse races. The celebration then became an annual event.
Oktoberfest is known for the large quantity of beer consumed. During the 16-day festival in 2013, for example, 7.7 million liters were served. The original six Munich breweries still provide the beer. Visitors also enjoy numerous attractions, such as amusement rides and games. A variety of traditional foods are available as well. Not to mention the traditional Bavarian clothing worn by many fest attendees, such as dirndls and lederhosen.
This year’s Oktoberfest runs from Saturday, September 21, through Sunday, October 6. Grab yourself a cold one and celebrate! And yes, the beer at Oktoberfest in Munich is, in fact, cold.