10 ideas for Oktoberfest
Autumn as a whole is the best time for “beer, wine and gastronomic tours” and one of its central events is the Bavarian beer festival, the famous Oktoberfest. It takes place in Munich – this year lasts from September 22 to October 7. At the same time, it allows the tourist to visit the most significant sights of Germany located nearby. As well as neighboring countries – Naprime, Austria and the Czech Republic.
№1. So, the main German landmark of the fall – Oktoberfest, will be held from September 22 to October 7. By tradition, the festival begins at noon with a solemn ceremony, the main character of which is the mayor of Munich. He knocks out the stopper from the first beer barrel, proclaiming “O’zapft is!” (“Uncorked!”). Interestingly, the number of strokes required for this has traditionally been counted – the longest barrel was opened in 1950 – the mayor took as many as 19 strokes. And in 2014 – only four. From one time the barrel was opened in 2006.
As for the history of this festival, it began on October 12, 1810 by marrying the future Bavarian king Louis I, who married Princess Theresa. In honor of the wedding and were organized festivities on the future of Theresien’s meadow “Theresienwiese”, then the country. Curiously, but at the first festivities, which became annual, there was no beer, and the jump was the highlight of the program – but the Germans’ love for the foamy drink quickly corrected the situation. And by the end of the XIX century, the festival acquired a modern look – beer tents, liter beer mugs and the famous Bretzels – pretzels, “working” snack.
By the way, according to tradition, only six old Bavarian breweries can offer their beer at Oktoberfest: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu. And for the holiday special beer is brewed – Oktoberfest Märzen or Oktoberfestbier with an alcohol content of 5.8-6.3%. However, in small tents you can find other offers, as well as other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, up to schnapps.
The most interesting thing at the festival takes place in the first days – even before the “O’zapft is!” Ceremony, the owners of beer tents pass through the city with a colorful parade, and on Sunday after this (this year, September 23) – the tourists are in for a traditional costume parade that will stretch about 7 kilometers. Up to 9 thousand participants and 40 carriages are expected.
Details for those who find beer more interesting than spectacles: beer tents open on weekdays from 10:00, on weekends – an hour earlier. Beer is bottled until 22:30. The sad news is that beer at Oktoberfest regularly rises in price: if in 2002 beer was at a maximum of 6.80 euros, then last year’s cost reached 10.70 euros. And, by the way, it is better not to try to “grab” a beer mug for a souvenir – the police are watching this and thieves are handed over, although there are amateurs – in 2015 the police confiscated up to 100 thousand such borrowed mugs. But they can be bought in any souvenir tent. By the way, according to the security requirements of the festival, entry with bags and backpacks of more than three liters is prohibited. And the number of law enforcement officers reaches 450 people.
№2. If, nevertheless, the desire to combine Oktoberfest with a cultural program will prevail, then the simplest solution is to take a walk in Munich. The average leisurely stroll through the main sights of the city fits into 3-4 hours, the best start from Marienplatz Square, looking at 11 am view of the watch figures on the New Town Hall. Also nearby you can appreciate the old city from above – for this you can climb the tower of the church of St. Peter, but we must note that the height is considerable and there is no elevator. Also a mandatory point of the program is the Kaufingerstrasse shopping street, and numerous Munich squares.
Number 3. The detailed excursion program also includes Neuschwanstein Castle, the “most photographed castle in Germany”, which generates some “déjà vu” – “New Swan Stone” in tourists, and this is how its name is translated, served as a prototype for the well-known Disneyland castle.