The world loves Oktoberfest. It’s Germany’s biggest beer festival that draws in over six million visitors every year. It’s impossible to not get excited at just the mention of it if you’re a beer enthusiast! But why the name? All Oktoberfest goers know that festivities actually start during the last days of September. In truth, most of the affair is held during September with only a few days reserved for October. Read on to know why.
Oktoberfest did not come to celebrate the month of October. It came to be to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen that happened over two hundred years ago. Everyone in Bavaria endeavored to celebrate the union so they partied for five days. Back then, beer was not in the center of it all. The star of the festivity was a horse race. The celebration turned out to be so fun and enjoyable for all so they decided to do it every single year.
The Story Behind the Name
The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12, 1810. This was in honor of the marriage between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. Hence, the name. Locally though, Oktoberfest is called “Wiesn.” This is because the land where Oktoberfest is held is called Theresienwiese. Such naming was done in honor of Princess Therese.
Why September then?
As the festival got more enjoyable by the year, more days were added to it. Oktoberfest organizers decided to move the starting date to September because September days are warmer and longer. This allows more people to enjoy it! If you’re ready to party come 2022, do visit Thirsty Swagman for a comprehensive guide on tours, tents, and everything Oktoberfest!
October Days are Still Honored
Oktoberfest is still held until the first Sunday of October to honor tradition. In fact, October 3 is always reserved for the celebration of German Unity.
5 Fun Things You Can Enjoy During Oktoberfest that Has Nothing to Do with Beers
There is much that you can enjoy in Oktoberfest apart from its delicious beer. You can check out the following if you’re after getting the most out of Oktoberfest:
- Castle Tours
Oktoberfest is celebrated in Munich, Germany. Munich happens to have 5 of Germany’s most famous and beautiful castles. As beer-drinking often starts at 7 pm, you can choose to spend your mornings going from one beautiful castle to the next! Check out the following castles during your next Oktoberfest holiday:
- Nymphenburg Palace – this is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the area. It’s a summer palace that houses four hidden palaces in the forest. You’d get to enjoy not just one, but four palaces if you’d visit Nymphenburg Palace.
- Residence Palace – it will take you four hours to visit this massive palace in Munich. It has 130 apartments and staterooms.
- Food Trips
Oktoberfest is also perfect for food enthusiasts. You’d have so many tents and restaurants to choose from. All will allow you to enjoy delicious Bavarian delicacies. Make sure that you get to try the following during your Oktoberfest holiday:
- Soft pretzels – they go so well with a mug of beer
- Gingerbread hearts – they’re also perfect souvenirs that you can bring home for yourself and for your loved ones
- White sausage – remember that you can’t eat the skin with this one.
- Slowly roasted ox – goes well with red wine, vegetables, and potatoes.
Munich is perfect for museum lovers! There are nine museums to choose from and we recommend that you visit them all. We recommend that you visit the following if you’re short of time:
- The Brown House – this was Adolf Hitler’s office. You will learn much about the Nazi system and the city’s struggle.
- The Pinakothek der Moderne – the world’s oldest design museum that has four museums within.
- Kunsthalle Munich – houses both ancient relics and contemporary art.
- Staatliches Museum AgypticcherKunst – for lovers of Egytian history. Houses 5,000-years worth of Egyptian relics.
- Museum Brandhorst – you’d enjoy the 1,200 masterpieces that it houses.
- Souvenir Hunting
Apart from beers, you’d also have a grand time shopping for souvenirs and random stuff at the many shops all over Munich. Do make it a point to hunt for these items that are exclusively available in Munich:
- Ludwig Beck scarves – you can have one for as low as 20 Euros. The store has been around since 1861.
- Heilemann Chocolates – premium German chocolate bars that only go for not over 5 Euros.
- Traditional Clothing and Accessories – you can wear them as you enjoy Oktoberfest events and parties. The closest you’d feel to being a local.
- Dallmayr Coffee – made of premium coffee beans that Germans, especially Munich residents, love.
- Eilles Tea – premium tea from the very first tea shop in Munich that was opened in 1873.
You will love checking out numerous rides during your Oktoberfest holiday! These rides can both be enjoyed by kids and adults. Unknown to many, Oktoberfest is a kid-friendly festival. You can bring your kids along with you. They’d have so much fun going from one ride to the next. You should make it a point to experience the following rides:
- Willenborg’s Ferris Wheel – this is the very symbol of Oktoberfest
- Toboggan – for people who enjoy somersaults
- The Rotor – has been offered since 1955.