Celebrating Fall with Oktoberfest


Lucie Messerer

For many, October comes with orange leaves, colder weather, and scary costumes, but for a
few, October is the time to begin celebrating Oktoberfest. The event starts two weeks before the first Sunday in October.

Oktoberfest is a German celebration in honor of the marriage between Prince Ludwig l and Princess Therese in Munich, Germany on Oct. 12, 1810. Citizens of Munich were invited to share in the festivities and celebrate in the fields in front of the city gates, named Theresienwiese, or Theresa’s Fields. The event was celebrated throughout Bavaria, a state in Germany, and led to the beginning of a commonly known beer festival, Oktoberfest.

The original event was later combined with a state agricultural fair, and in 1818, booths with food and drink were introduced. As the event became more popular, these booths later became large tents and halls, some with a seating capacity of up to 6,000 people.

It is common for the mayor to tap the first keg, providing a joyful start to the event and showing the Bavarian sense of gemutlichkeit, or cordiality. Throughout the event, the total beer consumption is around 65,000 hectolitres (1,430,000 gallons), which roughly adds up to 104 liters per person over 18 days.

Each Munich brewery has its own tent and is represented by floats and wagons in Oktoberfest parades. These parades involve music, dancing, games, and people in folk costumes.

More than 6 million people per year attend Oktoberfest in Munich, most of them tourists. It’s common for towns with large German populations to provide smaller Oktoberfest events based on the original.

The event is a kid-friendly celebration and is seen as a fun family event that is almost required. Oktoberfest is not only an event to drink beer, but it is also a celebration where people spend time with their families, eat good food and celebrate German culture.