Oktoberfest from a German’s view


During my stays abroad I made the experience that being German is mostly connected to Bavarian culture. Bavaria is the largest, but not the most populous state in Germany. It is located in the south of Germany, borders Austria and known for its beautiful landmarks and the Alps. Furthermore, Munich, the capital of Bavaria is the birthplace of the Oktoberfest, the biggest and most popular folk festival in the world.

What is Oktoberfest and why is it celebrated?

The Oktoberfest or as Germans call it d’Wiesn had been held annually on the Theresienwiese in Munich since 1810. The date is mid-September to early October and it is an important economic factor for the city. It dates back to a horse race on the 17th October 1810 which was held due to the celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. From then on the festival grew year after year.

Today, the Oktoberfest is not only celebrated in Munich but also in a lot of other cities in Germany or even in other countries. One of the most known is the Wasen in Stuttgart. It is the second largest beer festival in the world after d’Wiesn. Even my hometown Cologne, which is known for the carnival celebrations in February, celebrates the Oktoberfest these days.

Should I go there?

I have personally never been to the Oktoberfest and have a divided opinion about it. On the one hand, I would like to go there, because it is very famous and I have the feeling that I must have attended it at least once as a German. Moreover, if you have seats in a beer tent it might be very nice to party there with your friends. On the other hand, I already heard a lot of bad things about it. The traditional aspect faded upon the years and today it is more a tourist event than a traditional folk festival. Further, if you do not have tickets for a special tent, you have to wait a lot of time in line. Besides, many people only go there to get drunk. Therefore my suggestion would be, if you like to experience a traditional Bavarian folk festival, you should attend one in a small village around Munich where locals celebrate.

Larissa’s two friends at Oktoberfest.
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