When people think of Germany, they often think of Oktoberfest, one of the most well-attended cultural festivals in the world. In 2019, the last year the festival was hosted in Munich, more than 6.3 million people attended the 16-day long festival, which begins in September and ends on the first Saturday of October.
While Oktoberfest may be known today for its raucous revelers and flowing beer, it began in 1810 as the celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I to the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the newlyweds outside the city’s gates and the original celebration included a parade and a horse race. Over the years of the King’s reign, the occasion was still marked annually and evolved from a small celebration to one that included various games of skill and competition, adding carnival booths and other attractions.
In 1819, the city of Munich took over management of the event, which continued to grow and expand each year. In 1835, to honor the silver wedding anniversary of the King, the traditional costume parade was added to the occasion. In 1887, the parade of Breweries took place for the first time, and in 1892, the first beer was served in the iconic glass mug. Since 1950, the event has been opened with a 12-gun salute at noon and the ceremonial tapping of the first keg by the Mayor of Munich – “O’Zapft is!” which means, “It’s tapped!”
The modern Oktoberfest celebration caters to multigenerational guests from all walks of life and is known for its massive beer tents, traditional food, music, dancing, costume, and (of course), the Parade of Landlords and Breweries, concluded with the beautifully-adorned heavy draft horses, pulling carts piled high with beer kegs.
For next summer’s celebration of Prost!, BreyerFest will draw inspiration from this incredible event and can’t wait to bring a slice of Bavaria to BreyerFest guests.
Keep your eyes on the BreyerFest Blog as we dive into all the different areas we’ve drawn inspiration from for next summer’s celebration of Prost!
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