Oktoberfest ( Oktoberfest ) — the world's largest beer festival. It takes place in the capital of Bavaria — Munich, begins in the second half of September and lasts more than two weeks.
It all started with the wedding of the Bavarian heir to the throne, Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Teresa of Saxon. On October 12, 1810, on the day when their wedding took place, all residents of the city were invited to festivities. They were gathered in a big meadow, at that time located outside the city. Now, in honor of the princess, he is called the Meadow of Teresa ( Theresienwiese ). For the Munich, that day, festivities were arranged with free beer and horse racing.
Everything went so lively and fun that Ludwig ordered the celebration of Oktoberfest annually. Every year, traditions of past years were preserved, and new ones were added to them. So, in 1811, a holiday of farmers was added to the races with the display of beautiful horses and bulls. In 1818, carousels and swings were installed. Then they put the first beer stalls. In 1881, the world's first and largest chicken roasting pan opened.
Since 1810, the tradition of holding the festival annually was interrupted only during world wars. After World War II, the beer festival opened in 1950, by order of the then mayor of Munich, Thomas Wimmer. Since then, it has been held annually.
Next to her are the carriages of the mayor of Munich and the administration of Bavaria. They are followed by a string of decorated carriages and beer cartels from all parts of Germany, primarily from Bavaria. In addition to them, a column of arrows, artists and folklore performers, brass bands, detachments in historical uniforms, as well as representatives of all German lands participate in the procession. In the hands of participants in the — procession are musical instruments of different regions of the country, used from ancient times to this day. Traditional genre scenes are played along the way, people carry decorated branches and garlands.
This traditional costume procession has received the honorary title of the most beautiful, historically important and best organized in the world. The procession always passes along the same route, the length of which is 6 kilometers. It starts at Siegestor and passes through the magnificent streets of the inner city to the main celebration site — Meadow Teresa.
Each tent — has its own capacity and its own peculiarity. For example, in the Augustinian brewery ( Augustiner-Festhalle ), designed for 10,000 people, they serve beer from wooden barrels brewed by monks. Schottenhamel ( 6000 places ) most often students go. Near the oldest beer town — beer arballet arrows ( Armbrustschutzenzelt ) — shooting range with 14 stands for shooting from a crossbow. And in Winzerer Fahndl you can come with children — there quietly, calmly, in a family way.
Beer can be bought not only in tents: during the beer festival, the whole city is immersed in the holiday, numerous beer points in the fresh air — bargarten ( beer gardens ) open.
Beer is carried by waitresses dressed in ancient German costumes. The stamina of these women, without difficulty, raises 3-4 beers. But beer on Oktoberfest is drunk with liter circles called « mass ». For the first time « mass » appeared already in 1892. It is interesting that during the holiday, visitors take with them, in memory of the festival, more than 70,000 such circles!
Despite the fact that beer — is a purely drink for adults, children are also not forgotten during the holidays. For future potential participants of the festivals, carousels are specially built, ice cream and other sweets are sold. Children ride on the children's railway, ride in carts harnessed by horses, for them special performances are arranged. On each corner they sell luminous horns, hearts, caps with flashing light bulbs.
However, not only children, but also adults buy them. And sometimes for practical reasons. From hearts and stars flashing in the dark, a special service identifies those who, having slightly sorted the beer, fell asleep in the fresh air. On carts they will be taken to a special place where the poor fellow can get enough sleep, and where friends and relatives will take them from.
The magnitude of the holiday is best indicated by the figures of statistics. During the festival, about 7 million liters of beer ( are drunk every year, this volume increases ), about 1.5 million fried chickens and sausages, 84 bulls are eaten. Beer provided by the six Munich breweries is sold in 650 beer places. Additionally, 363 gift shops are opened. Visitors are entertained by 200 attractions and concert venues.
During the festival, more than 7 million tourists from all over the world visit Munich. The holiday itself is consecrated live by television channels from around the world. For all this beer festival « Oktoberfest » was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest holiday.