For the uninitiated, Oktoberfest is not just beer, foam and ladies with generous necklines: here are 15 curiosities about Oktoberfest, the legendary beer festival, which takes place every year in Munich!
15 curiosities about Oktoberfest you probably don't know
If you're one of the few people in the world who doesn't know what Oktoberfest is, read our Oktoberfest guide!
1. Oktoberfest was not a beer festival
That's right! Contrary to what everyone thinks, the Oktoberfest was not born as a beer festival , but to celebrate the anniversary of the marriage between Teresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen and Ludwig I , Prince of Bavaria. The first celebration was held in 1810 and, from this moment, the anniversary was celebrated every year, but without even a drop of beer!
Things changed when, in 1819, the traditional parade of horses was replaced by that of the beer producers.
Furthermore, the Oktoberfest is called by the inhabitants of Monaco with the name of "Wiesn" , which derives from "Theresienwiese" , the field where the event is held which is the same place where Princess Teresa got married.
2. Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times
The causes were mainly wars and cholera epidemics. In its 100th edition, 120,000 liters of beer were poured, which corresponds to approximately 1,500 bathtubs.
3. The usual beer is not served at Oktoberfest
The festival doesn't serve regular beer, but special beers called Oktoberfestbier .
Brewed exclusively by Munich's six historic breweries and served in 13 giant tents, these beers are a specialty brewed only for Oktoberfest .
Until 1892, beer was served not in glass tankards but in stone cups . Now the famous mugs are the "souvenirs" of the Oktoberfest. In 2010, 130,000 beer mugs were confiscated and taken to their tent owners.
4. The alternative side of Oktoberfest
At the Oktoberfest , not only alcohol flows freely! Another folklore feature is its music: In the tents there are always bands playing traditional Bavarian music , but also covers of recent songs.
Armbrustschützenzelt marquee , you can gorge yourself on frankfurters and pork legs, while trying to do some archery and crossbow practice!
5. Alcohol championship
Oktoberfest beer is stronger than the usual beers. The Oktoberfestbier is served in Maß , the classic 1 liter mug, and has an average alcohol content of 6.5% : despite this, beer is consumed in rivers like water and almost 7 million were consumed last year of litres!
6. No drinking without permission!
If you imagine the Oktoberfest as a free party without rules, you are wrong. At the Oktoberfest it is not allowed to drink until the mayor of Munich has uncorked the first barrel of beer, with the “O' zapft is” (“It is uncorked!”) ceremony.
7. Oktoberfest starts in September
Even though it's called Oktoberfest , the legendary beer festival doesn't start in October! Over the years the start date has been brought forward to September because it is sunnier and warmer than in October.
8. You drink to stay healthy!
Behind the fame of Oktoberfest and its beer there is not only the pleasure of partying, but above all a question of necessity. Before the 19th century there wasn't much drinking water in Bavaria, and so, to avoid the spread of cholera and the plague, the locals quenched their thirst with beer, which was safer, more hygienic and much tastier. Cheers!
9. Paris Hilton was banned from Oktoberfest
To keep the Oktoberfest , every year many drunk or hyped people are bounced off the event: Among the blacklisted VIPs is Paris Hilton .
Wearing the traditional "dirndl" , the famous heiress appeared at the Oktoberfest in 2006 without having made arrangements with the event organizers, promoting a brand of canned wine, "Richprosecco" . After causing quite a stir among the audience, Paris Hilton has been permanently banned from the festival for ages to come!
10. Einstein worked at Oktoberfest
Albert Einstein once worked as an electrician and helped set up one of the beer tents in 1896.
11. Children are welcome
Not only rivers of alcohol, the Oktoberfest also has a family-friendly side . The carnival aspect of the Oktoberfest attracts many families every year, and among its marquees there are numerous attractions suitable for both adults and children , such as the flea circus, carousels, the Ferris wheel and the roller coaster. You don't have to get drunk at all costs to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Oktoberfest!
12. The Lost and Found Office is a chest full of treasures
It has happened to each of us at least once to lose something when we are drunk: try to put together 7 million people in high spirits! It is easy to imagine that, at the end of the Oktoberfest , the Lost and Found office collects hundreds of objects of all kinds : an average of 1,000 passports, 500 wallets, 300 mobile phones, 300 bags and 50 cameras are found.
Among the most bizarre objects lost at the Oktoberfest , how not to mention: dentures, wedding rings, baby strollers, hearing aids, dogs, wheelchairs and even a tombstone!
In addition, there is also a lost children's office , for all careless parents who lose sight of their child after yet another mug of beer.
13. Oktoberfest has its own post office
An average of 130,000 postcards and gifts are sent from here every year .
145. There is a marquee where they drink wine
Most of the people in it are over 40 years old.
15. The hairier the hat, the richer the wearer
During Oktoberfest , traditional visitors wear the Bavarian hats (called “Tirolerhüte” ). The more tufts of goat hair there are on the hat, the wealthier the owners are considered. (today the wisps are synthetic, so everyone can look rich or poor, as they like).