|first Oktoberfest in 1810|
Many people have heard of Oktoberfest. Some know it as a German celebration. In fact, it is the largest and longest celebration in Germany. In Germany, it is celebrated across the country. However, many people don't know how Oktoberfest began.
|Early Oktoberfest Beermaids|
Its origins have roots in Bavaria where it began in Munich. Oktoberfest started on October 12, 1810 as a way to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. As was customary in those days royal marriage celebrations extended for several days. On October 17, a horse race was held at the city gates in which the citizens of Munich were invited to watch. The horse race proved to be a popular event with the citizens and it started a tradition of an annual celebration which included horse racing until 1938.
By 1811, Oktoberfest became a type of fall agricultural festival and by 1818 beer pubs and street performers added to the festivities. By 1887, the traditional garb of lederhosen (leather britches) and dirndls (dress of southern Germany) became the thing to wear to the festival. Various food became associated with the festival such as bratwurst and pretzels. The celebration gradually spread throughout Germany and is now celebrated in many places throughout the world.
In Munich because of the more seasonable weather, Oktoberfest begins in mid-September and lasts 17 days. It ends on the first Sunday of October. However, Oktoberfest days can vary today by local.
|One of the many beer tents|