Oktoberfest is a celebration of many things, but specifically, it is an autumnal festival held annually in Munich, Germany, that begins on September 20 and continues until October 4.
Since I have a son living in Europe, and who is, in fact, residing in Berlin, I tapped him for photos and intriguing moments from last year’s Oktoberfest, which was his first attendance at this event—even though he had lived in Europe for more than a decade.
In his words, he shares some of his experiences:
Oktoberfest in Munich is legendary. It is the Mecca for all beer creatures, big and small. Attending Oktoberfest was one of my life goals—one which seemed to elude me over the years. I had all the right incentives: 1) A friend who lives in Munich, 2) 10 years of living a mere 6-hour drive from Oktoberfest and of course, 3) A powerful thirst for beer. My Munich friend said I wouldn’t like Oktoberfest because of my fear of crowds and being bumped into, and he led me to believe that Oktoberfest wasn’t a “real” German cultural event anyway, that it had long since been abandoned by the lederhosen set in favor of the Big Tourist Drunken Carnival, and that I would need galoshes to wade through all the beer and stomach contents.
So I replied, “So, do you have any space on yer couch for me to visit this October or not?” As it happened, he didn’t. Other friends had booked his couch for crashing die Wies ‘n (Munchener slang for Oktoberfest) that year. He could have just said so in the first place.
After several years of hemming and hawing over the elusive Munich sofa, sometimes due to couch scheduling problems, other times due to illness (mine or my friend’s), or other times due to work, I finally found myself in Mein Munchen Mecca last year.
And some of his impressions from this event include the following, with images:
Pretzels bigger than a child’s head, tents bigger than Barnum and Bailey, more leather in the pants than on all of the cows in Germany at any given time (on Bavarians and foreigners alike), more tuba thrashing Umpah Music than any human ear should be allowed to hear in one lifetime (but still sounding great), and a great German industrial efficiency machine for brewing and cooking and delivering beer, sausages, pretzels, t-shirts, souvenirs and music throughout the night for weeks on end, from the middle of September until the end of the first week of October. Waitaminit, it starts in September? Why is it called “Oktoberfest” then?
Ask the Germans, they’ll be happy to tell you all about it.
Here are some of them, telling you pictorially.
For more information on the author/photographer, check here: