The crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria got married to Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. He wanted to share the happiness with his countrymen and invited all of them to a large feast conducted in a large field outside the city gates. Thousands of Bavarians attended it. Food and beer were consumed in large quantities. A horserace also was conducted. In short, people enjoyed themselves beyond measure and the next year, they repeated the event. Thereafter, it became an important volksfestival in Germany. It is now an important feature of the Bavarian culture.
The beer consumed during the Oktoberfest is of a special quality. Now the fest is a 16-day celebration that starts sometime during the second half of September till the first week of October. Every year new features are being added to the festivities of the Oktoberfest. New tournaments, games and agricultural shows are included in this festival.
A fabulous parade was conducted in 1810, in the honor of the royal couple. It was discontinued for a time and the parade resumed in 1850 and remains an important feature of the festival till date. During the parade thousands of Bavarians come out into the streets wearing very colourful traditional costumes.
The Oktoberfest in Munich is one of the largest festivals in the world. Revelry is the most important feature of the festival. If you happen to be in Munich during the Oktoberfest, you get a chance to taste all the delicacies of germane cuisine. People drink a lot of beer during this festival. The Oktoberfest of Munich is the largest of the existing beer festivals. Beer tents are erected all over the city and people get a chance t o enjoy special Oktoberfest beers and traditional food in these tents.
The fest ground is still the large meadow called Theresienwiese, which is named after Princess Therese. The Bavarians usually term the Oktoberfest as "Wies'n". A large portion of the ground is occupied by carousals and other game-rides. A number stalls are set up for trading various articles. An agricultural show is also held every year during this beer festival.
Something that started more than a century ago as a wedding feast of a Bavarian royal has now become the largest folk festival of the world. Thousands of tourists visit Munich during this festival and carry with them an everlasting impression of the fabulous Bavarian culture and tradition.
by Marina Chernyak