It’s not just a giant party. It‘s a culture, a way of life, a celebration of all things Bavarian. Beer flows in ample amounts, more than one could possibly consume. They say that one-third of the beer produced in Munich is consumed within these 16 days of Oktoberfest. Fresh, from the barrels, the town‘s Mayor and the owners of the breweries are the first ones to get a taste of the beer brewed especially for Oktoberfest. This happens at exactly 12:00pm in the afternoon on the commencement day. They parade through town with their wagons, filled with barrels of beer. Each beer tent has its own horse and carriage, it‘s own townspeople, and it‘s own barreled beers proudly on display. As they make their was through the city, they exchange cheers and waves with the crowd, all welcoming them into the Oktoberfest gates. This is where it all begins, in Theresienwiese, also known as d’Wiesn by the locals.
The 10 to 12 carriages have made their way through the Oktoberfest gates, each one stopping right in front oft he beer tent it symbolizes. You have the Augustin tent to your right, the Paulaner tent to your left, a Löwenbrau tent further down, and countless more in every direction. They are all massive in size, and can house up to 10,000 people.
Through the middle of d’Wiesn you’ll find everything from lebkuchenherz, mandeln, ochsensemmel, schweinehaxn, brezeln, essiggurke, schokofrüchte, and I could keep going. It’s traditional and delectable.
Popular carnival games, horror houses, and pop-up roller coaster rides will keep you entertained throughout the day and night. At d‘Wiesn you’ll notice families, friends, colleagues, and lovers all having a great time with smiles plastered on their faces. Everyone is decked out in a traditional and vibrant dirndl or lederhosen. The atmosphere is contagious. I was in Munich for 3 days, and all 3 days I made it to d’Wiesn.
In the beer tents, you’ll see people clicking their beer mugs, cheering, laughing, signing, and dancing. There’s a live band in each tent. The crowd and the band interact with each other constantly, exchanging chants and lyrics. Make sure you are completed prepared for Oktoberfest so you really have a good time and blend in 😉
Sure, there are 10,000 people in these tents, but the Germans know how to manage this effeciently; living up to their worldly stereotypes. Tables are arranged in rows and columns, which waiters and waitresses assigned to each row. They each are able to carry a minimum of 10 Mass, in other words, 10 liters of beer. This is the basic qualification. It’s amazing to watch them maneuver through tables with beers and food platters. They‘ll even drink with you.
On a sunny day, everyone is sitting in the beer gardens, by each of the tents, taking it the last that‘s left of the warmth for the year. A perfect festival to say goodbye to the summer, and welcome in the autumn to Germany.