It is called Oktoberfest, but the beer festival starts in September. On the 12th of October 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I of Bavaria) wed Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and held a big party near Munich. It was so successful, that the beer festival has become a tradition and is held annually, apart from at times of war. Oktoberfest begins each year on a Saturday in September and ends 16-18 days later.
The massive Bavarian Volksfest is officially opened when Munich’s Oberbürgermeister taps the first keg of beer and yells O’zapft is! (“It’s tapped!”). This tradition began in 1950, when Thomas Wimmer (Oberbürgermeister) opened the first beer keg. Oktoberfest Munich breweries are all Spaten-Franziskaner, including the breweries of Augustinerbräu-, Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu. In accordance with the rules of the Oktoberfest, the festival may only serve Munich beer brewed according to the purity law of Munich of 1487 and the German purity law of 1516.14 large and 15 small tents are open to visitors.
The Oktoberfest is the most popular beer festival in the world. In 1999 the beer festival enjoyed almost six and a half million visitors. 72% of them were from Bavaria, 15% from EU-countries, as well as other countries for example from the United States, Canada, Australia and Southeast Asia.
This piece was written by a member of Com Berlin’s English class. Check back soon to see more texts from other members of the class.