Oktoberfest Trivia 2012
Beer and more beer – the two things that often come to mind when you hear the word “Oktoberfest.” But if you think beer covers everything the fest has to offer, think again. There’s more to the biggest beer festival in October than lager and lederhosen. Here are some not-so-well-known facts surrounding this well-known event:
The first Oktoberfest celebrated a wedding
In 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. More than 40,000 citizens of Munich attended the festivities held in front of the city gates, which lasted 5 days.
Beer was not available at the first Oktoberfest
Only alcohol was available and it had to be bought outside the venue. Beer was only made available at Oktoberfest when organizers opened the activity to vendors and beer halls became popular.
Oktoberfest starts in September
Oktoberfest takes place over 16-19 days. While the first Oktoberfest was held in October, it now begins in September, with the last weekend of the fest held in October. This is to take advantage of better weather (it is less chilly).
Non-alcoholic drinks are aplenty
From coffee and tea to water and lemonade, other beverages are also available for those who choose to drink something other than beer during the festival. Sparkling wine, some of the best of which is produced in Germany, is also widely available. Average statistics for Oktoberfest show 222,725 liters of coffee and tea, and 808,765 ½ liters of water and lemonade are consumed at each festival, albeit this is a far cry from the approximate 6,940,600 liters of beer!
Oktoberfest is family-friendly
With carousels, carnival rides, parades, musical performances and the like, Oktoberfest is a fun festival for the entire family. There is even a Family Day every Tuesday when special discounts are given until 6PM.
The fest is also a haven for food lovers
Aside from the millions of gallons of beer downed at Oktoberfest, sumptuous food is also aplenty. From hendl (grilled chicken) to brezel (giant German soft pretzels), you’ll enjoy not only a variety of the best beer around, but also an array of specialty foods that are unique and simply delish! Relish Shweinshaxe (Bavarian pork knuckles), or try an oxen dish, Knockwurst (German sausage), or Kasespatzle (cheese noodles) while enjoying your beer or sparkling wine.
Oktoberfest hosts an annual crossbow shooting contest
Another anticipated event, this contest is held in the Armbrustschutzenzelt tent every year.
Festivities have been cancelled 24 times
Tragic events led to the cancellation of Oktoberfest, such as cholera epidemics in 1854 and 1873, the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II.
“O’zapft is” is Oktoberfest’s magic phrase
Meaning, “It is tapped,” this is the phrase that officially opens Oktoberfest. The mayor of Munich taps the first beer barrel and shouts this phrase to the crowd. What happens next is history.
Go ahead and join this famous food and beerfest. Just make sure to watch out for bierleichen (beer corpses)!