1 October is tomorrow. So time for the Oktoberfest.
Wrong. The biggest beer festival in Germany is already more than half over in September. True it was first celebrated in October to celebrate a Bavarian wedding, But it became so popular that it was extended into September, also to take advantage of the better weather.
What is now the biggest festival in the world now starts in the middle of September. It attracts more than six million visitors a year who between them spend almost half a billion euro at the Oktoberfest itself and almost double that in the city for accommodation and souvenirs. Altogether the Oktoberfest offers seats for some 100,000 people
Key elements of the Oktoberfest are beer, German folk music and rides. This year the beer costs EUR 10 per one-litre glass (expect a big glass not quite full). What is actually served in the glass may only be from a brewery which brews within the city of Munich. This limits the number of beers being served to six. These beer producers serve up a special Oktoberfest beer with a higher alcoholic content than usual. Amazing is the fact that only 6 million litres are sold, an average of only one litre per person. In view of the obviously excessive consumption of many, the question is really – what are the others drinking?
But this blog is about the origin of the word. Oktoberfest first appeared on the radar of English vocabulary in a travel guide from 1895. Baedeker’s writes that the fest attracts great crowds from Upper Bavaria. As a great time, the beer festival travelled well. Brought by German communities around the world, Oktoberfest is celebrated in many places, particularly in the United States.