Oktoberfest. Beer festival
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria. It is a 16 to 18 day folk festival running from mid- or late September to the first Sunday in October.
Visitors also enjoy numerous attractions, such as amusement rides, sidestalls, and games. There is also a wide variety of traditional foods available. Only beer conforming to the Reinheitsgebot, and brewed within the city limits of Munich, can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest.
Besides the Oktoberfest, there are other public festivals that take place at the same location. In April and May the Munich Frühlingsfest (spring festival) is held and the Tollwood Festival.
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To keep the Oktoberfest, and especially the beer tents, amicable for the elderly and families, the concept of the “quiet Oktoberfest” was developed in 2005. Until 6:00 pm, the orchestras in the tents only play brass music, for example traditional folk music. With these rules, the organisers of the Oktoberfest were able to curb the tumultuous party mentality and preserve the traditional beer-tent atmosphere.
After the parade of the restaurateurs on carriages from downtown to the festival grounds, at exactly 12:00 clock the lord mayor opens the first beer barrel in the Schottenhammel tent. With the initial pass and the Bavarian exclamation, “O’zapft is!” (es ist angezapft—It has been tapped!) the Oktoberfest is declared opened.
In honor of the silver wedding anniversary of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese, a traditional costume parade took place in 1835 for the first time. From 1950 this parade is organized annually and has become one of the highlights of the Oktoberfest and one of the world’s largest parades of its kind. On the first festival Sunday, 8000 participants march in the parade in their historic festival costumes from the Maximilianeum on a seven kilometer stretch to the festival grounds.
After the Oktoberfest the next largest public fairs in Germany are:
- *Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart;
- Cranger Kirmes in Herne (Wanne-Eickel);
- *Rheinkirmes in Düsseldorf (called the largest fair on the Rhine);
- Freimarkt in Bremen;
At the centre of the city is the Marienplatz (map), a Marian column in its centre – with the *Old Town Hall (map) and the New Town Hall (map). Its tower contains the *Rathaus-Glockenspiel.
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If you plan to explore Munich and see all the sights and tourist attractions, buy the EasyCityPass. This is valid for all public transportation services in Munich and a discount card for many tourist attractions like museums, sights, shopping or gastronomy.
The public transportation agency has a journey planner app called MVV-Companion journey planner for public transport in Munich.
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