We sometimes get asked if we’re celebrating Oktoberfest. Well, maybe, but just because you’re anywhere in Germany in October, doesn’t mean that you’ll be there for the world famous Oktoberfest. So here are a few quick facts about Oktoberfest in Germany:
Most of Oktoberfest takes place in September, not October. Yes, that’s right, despite its name, the festival takes place primarily in the month of September. The original event took place in October, but for numerous reasons, it was moved to earlier in the calendar. Some of these reasons are weather (it can be cold in October in Germany) and to coincide with German Reunification Day (on Oct. 3). In 2013, Oktoberfest runs from September 21 to October 6.
Oktoberfest is a celebration in Munich, not all of Germany. There is sometimes a misconception abroad that Oktoberfest is a national event. In reality, it traditionally takes place only in Munich. The original event was in 1810 and centered around marriage festivities of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese. The meadow which now is the focal point of the modern Oktoberfest is named Theresienwiese (Therese’s Meadow) in the princess’ honor.
It’s more than just about beer. Yes, beer is focus and enjoying the festivities from within a beer tent is a highlight for many visitors. But in an effort to keep the event family friendly and appeal to more people than just drunken crowds, there are carnival booths, amusement park rides and other kid friendly activities.