Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oktoberfest: Pure Awesomeness, or so I've always assumed.

Oktoberfest is pure awesomeness, or so I've always assumed. Admittedly I have never actually been to Oktoberfest; however, I did once write a paper in German class about it, I have been to Munich several times and once I even seriously contemplated buying a pair of lederhosen. Now that it has been established how fully qualified I am to write this, without further adieu I give you: Oktoberfest Fun Facts!

  • Oktoberfest is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world's largest fair.
  • The original "Oktoberfest" occurred in Munich, on October 18, 1810: For the commemoration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.  
  •  In Germany, the evenings and nights can get very cold in October, so to ensure high attendance, authorities decided to move the celebration to the end of September. The name did not change because the Oktoberfest ends the first weekend of October.
  • Since 1950, A twelve gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00 by Mayor of Munich with the cry "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!" in the Austro-Bavarian language) opens the Oktoberfest.
  • 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest. For the anniversary, there will be a horse race in historical costumes again on opening day. 

    • Six million people attending every year. Around 60% are aged 30 or less
    • 72% of the festival visitors come from the home state of Bavaria, whilst another 13% come from the rest of Germany. Approximately 15% are visitors from abroad 
        • Many attendees wear traditional Bavarian clothing.  Lederhosen for the men and Drindls for the ladies (Side-fact: drindls are sexy!)


        • There are 14 beer tents (or beer halls), each offering their own special brew or entertainment.
        • The Germans jokingly refer to those who have succumbed to too much beer as “Bierleichen”(beer corpses).
        • The German breweries represented at the Munich Oktoberfest tents are: Augustiner, Paulaner, Spaten-Franziskaner, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr and Hofbräu.
        • The larger beer tents can seat up to 9,000 people and a total of 1800 waitresses serve the festival's beer. 
        • In 2009 6.5 million litres of beer were consumed
        • This German beer festival is not only about beer. German wine is also served and there is a wine tent call the WeinZelt, which offers more than 15 different wine.
          • In 2008, Bavarian Anita Schwarz set a new (Guinness) world record when she carried 19 full beer steins (5 in either hand and 9 on top) totaling 45 kg, or 90 lbs over a distance of 40 meters without any spillage and placed on a table.


            Traditional hearty food includes:
            • Hendl (chicken), 
            • Schweinsbraten (roast pork), 
            • Haxn (pork knuckle)
            • Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick)
            • Würstl (sausages) along with Brezn (Pretzel)
            • Knödel (potato or bread dumplings)
            • Kasspatzn (cheese noodles)
            • Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes)
            • Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a fatty, spiced cheese-butter concoction) and
            • Weisswurst (a white sausage). 

            The Fairgrounds

            • The festival is held on an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called d’ Wiesn for short.
            • It takes two months for construction workers to transform the fairgrounds to a pulsating city of beer tents and food stands, roller coasters and carnival rides—and one month to disassemble it all.
            • In 2010 microscopic bacteria will be used in to fight smelly odours of stale beer and rotting food that was previously masked by smoking

            • Nearly 1,000 tons of garbage result annually from the Oktoberfest.

            • The mountains of garbage created are hauled away and the ways cleanly washed down each morning. The cleaning is paid for in part by the city of Munich and in part by the sponsors.

            • Approximately 1,800 toilets and urinals are available.

            Doesn't that all sound pretty awesome?  Unfortunately, I will yet again, not be attending this year however, I do plan to be there in 2011 in full lederhosen, possibly even with bells on.  Until then, Prost und auf Wiedersehen.

            Dates :
            Oktoberfest 2010: 18.09.2010 - 04.10.2010. 
            Oktoberfest 2011: 17.09.2011 - 03.10.2011. 
            Oktoberfest 2012: 22.09.2012 - 07.10.2012.
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