200 YEARS of Tradition
The first Oktoberfest started off with a wedding. Today it is the world’s biggest folk festival with fans all around the globe. More than 3,000 festivals are celebrated each year according to Munich´s original Oktoberfest. Let us teach you some more interesting facts about the historical background.
17th of October 1810:
YES, I do
The origin of the Oktoberfest is marked by the wedding between the Bavarian crown prince Ludwig and the princess Therese of Saxony-Hildenburghausen. Back then the inhabitants of Munich liked to celebrate, which is why the wedding was the cause for many festivities all around the city.
The conclusive highlight of the celebrations was a splendid horse race which took place on a meadow in front of the city. In honor of the princess it was called Theresienwiese. This is the reason why the Oktoberfest is also known as "Wiesn" all over the world.
According to an old tradition, the idea for the horse race came from a military officer and was very well received by the inhabitants of Munich. Because of that the festivity took place again the year after: Oktoberfest was born.
In its early years the Oktoberfest was expanded continuously. A cattle exhibition was added and in the year 1818 there were the first carousels, swings, climbing trees as well as a bowling alley. In the following years the number of rides and showmen increased subsequently.
Following the increasing number of visitors back in the 19th century the big Oktoberfest tents were opened. In addition the duration of the festivities was extended to two weeks. Since then the starting date is the first Saturday after the 15th of September. The reason to bring forward the date was the sunny weather during the Indian summer in Munich.
GARB aND TRADITION
Since 1935 the festive entry of the publicans sitting on decorated horse carts accompanied by a brass band marks a highlight of the Oktoberfest. In addition, since 1950 there is a big garb procession with about 8,000 participants taking place in Munich. In case you want to learn more about the traditional garb, visit our Oktoberfest guide.
2010: opening of
the oide wiesn
For the 200th anniversary of the Oktoberfest the so called Oide Wiesn was opened for the first time. It is a small historic duplicate of the first Oktoberfest with traditional rides, tents and showmen. The entrance fee is 3€. The Oide Wiesn will open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
At 12 o´clock the head mayor of Munich will start the grand opening of the Oktoberfest by tapping the first beer barrel. The record for the fastest tap is two blows, whereas the longest tap lasted for 19 blows. A practiced waiter will need only 1.5 seconds to draw one liter of beer.
Every year the Oktoberfest is visited by about six millions of visitors, who will drink about 7.5 millions of beer, eat 500,000 chickens as well as 125 oxen and 25 tons of fish. The annual revenue generated through this consumption is as big as one billion Euros.
All Oktoberfest tents combined offer space for up to 120,000 visitors, while the Hofbräu Festzelt with about 10,000 seats is the biggest one. Getting curious? Discover how your perfect day at the Oktoberfest may look like!