September may be a time for cooling temperatures around the US, but in Munich, Germany, things are just heating up for Oktoberfest! I’ve never actually been to Oktoberfest, or Germany for that matter, but have always been curious about this tradition. Do people really drink beer all night long? Do modern women really dress in old fashioned dirndl frocks for a night out with the girls? To answer my questions, I turned to Victoria Whyte from Ludus Tours/Oktoberfest Tours. Victoria is live on location in Munich for the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest, which is predicted to be one of the biggest and craziest parties to date.
Let’s see what Victoria had to say about Munich’s Oktoberfest:
BC: What exactly is Oktoberfest?
Victoria: Known as the Largest People’s Fair in the World, Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is Europe’s largest beer-drinking, affair drawing 6-7 million visitors each year that consume more than 6 million liters (1 million gallons) of Bavarian brews. The first Oktoberfest occured in 1810 with a horse race and fair to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (who became King Ludwig I) to Therese von Saxe, after whom “Theresienwiese” (the Oktoberfest grounds) was named (known as the “Wies’n” to locals).
BC: Why do they celebrate Oktoberfest in September?
Victoria: Oktoberfest is celebrated in September because of the warmer weather.
BC: What are the popular beers/brands of beer for the event?
Victoria: The brands served at Oktoberfest –
- Loewenbraeu Oktoberfestbier
- Spaten Oktoberfest Beer
- Augustiner Oktoberfestbier
- Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier
BC: What are the traditional foods of Oktoberfest? Is it just kraut and bratwurst?
Victoria: The chicken served in the tents is the best chicken I have ever eaten! But maybe that was the 2 litres of beer! Do not miss the giant pretzels, either. Plus, you must try: Schneiders Aventinusbierbtratl (Schneider’s Beer Roast), portion Schweinshaxe (Port Knuckle), and Wiener Schnitzel, of course!
BC: Do girls really dress in dirndls?
Victoria: Yes! You’ll want to dress like a local to get the most out of your experience! Dirndl for girls, Lederhosen for guys – young and old!
BC: What do people do at Oktoberfest?
Victoria: To get the most out of the beer tents, be sure to learn the words to Ein Prosit. When everyone in the beer tents stands on their bench and belts out the words to Ein Prosit, you will want to sing along! Ein Prosit ein Prosit gemüdlichkeit, Ein Prosit ein Prosit gemütlichkeit… einz, zwei, drei, suffa! It means: A toast, a toast, that cosy feeling… A toast, a toast, good vibes…one, two, three chug it down!
And there you have it. Oktoberfest – a time for beer drinking, schnitzel eating, lederhosen wearing, and a whole lot of singing!
Auf Wiedersehen, darling!