You can make the most of your Oktoberfest celebrations if you know all of the fun facts behind this favorite fall tradition. Oktoberfest is a world-wide tradition that got its start a long time ago. That means there is a rich history of beer drinking during Oktoberfest.
That history gives us some insight on how world-wide traditions get started. The best Oktoberfest facts can help give you something to discuss between drinks. Not to mention, learning about beer is never dull. There is a rich history there as well.
Oktoberfest doesn’t have to be part of your culture either. The event got its start in Germany but now the entire world partakes in the festivities. Beer flows, pretzels are destroyed, and parties are hosted all in the name of beer. Well, maybe not in the name of beer but we can still pour another glass.
The Royal Aspects
Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on the 12th of October in 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event.
The fields have since been named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s fields”) in honor of the Crown Princess. The locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”.
Off to the Races
Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for all of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
A Carnival of Beer
In the first few decades the choice of amusements was sparse. The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands which grew rapidly in number. In 1896 the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents and halls set up by enterprising landlords with the backing of the breweries.
The remainder of the festival site was taken up by a fun-fair. The range of carousels etc. on offer was already increasing rapidly in the 1870s as the fairground trade continued to grow and develop in Germany.
Today, the Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world with an international flavor characteristic of the 21st century: some 6 million visitors from all around the world converge on the Oktoberfest each year. The locals still refer to the event simply as the “Wies’n” since the Oktoberfest is still held on the Theresienwiese.
So “welcome to the Wies’n” means nothing other than “welcome to the Oktoberfest”!
Coming to America
It is hardly surprising then that a country like the USA with vast numbers of German immigrants (in fact, German Americans make up the largest ancestry group in the USA) should now offer such a large number of Oktoberfests in the USA during September and October!
If you want to throw your own Oktoberfest celebration perhaps these supplies will help!
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