The Oktoberfest, also known as ‘Wiesn’, is an annual festival that takes place from mid-September until the beginning of October in Munich, Germany. Today, the Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world which attracts almost 7 million visitors every year.

Oktoberfest 2020 will take place from Saturday, 19th September 2020 until Sunday, 4th October 2020.

How Oktoberfest Is Celebrated Today

The Oktoberfest with its long tradition of more than 200 years has turned over time to what it is today – the largest folk festival on the planet! Every year, the mayor of Munich taps the first barrel and opens the Oktoberfest with the famous words “o’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped”)

The giant Theresienwiese houses endless possibilities for entertainment such as enormous mobile roller coasters as well as other thrill and family rides. However, the actual main attraction that made this festival so famous all over the world are its beer tents.

These are portable structures that are set up every year just for the Oktoberfest. From the outside they almost look like real traditional buildings from southern Germany but in oversized dimensions. Many of them even span over two storeys being able to accomodate thousands of guests – the largest one (Hofbäuzelt including beer garden) even up to 11.000 people at once.

"Willkommen zum Oktoberfest": Entrance to the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Partying From AM To PM

Starting as early as 9 a.m., the masses of visitors already rush into the tents to grab one of the much sought-after seats. Although there are thousands of tables to host the guests, the tents sometimes have to close down due to overcrowding. This often happens already in the early hours of the day. So make sure to come early and get into line! Once a space in a tent could be snatched, visitors can party until the tents close around 12 at night.

To create the well-known atmosphere, each of the tents has its own live band that entertains the crowd with traditional as well as modern songs in the stlye of music for bass instruments. When the party heats up, thousands of visitors are dancing on the benches and tables all over the place. You can here the clinking of their giant litre-sized beer glasses everywhere. Typical foods to enjoy with the large amounts of beer are Hendl (chicken from the grill), Brezn (huge pretzels) and Schweinshaxn (pork knuckles).

Another famous particularity of this beer festival are the Bavarian traditional costumes – the Dirndl for women and Lederhosen for men. Locals and foreign visitors alike where these typical garments to the festival and create the picturesque signature of the Oktoberfest.



Fun Facts

  • the size of about 60 football fields (77 acres)
  • almost 7 million visitors each year
  • only 19% of guests are from outside of Germany
  • more than 7 million liters of beer are consumed each year
  • 35 major gastronomy businesses with a total of 107.000 seats (in total about 90 gostronomy businesses)
  • 14 large tents and 21 smaller tents
  • 8000 constant and 4000 temporary workers each year
  • in total 878 meters of urinals
  • 964 toilets for women and men

The Historic Background Of The Beer Festival

The festival evolved out of a horse race which was first held for the wedding of King Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen on 17 October 1810. From this time on, the festival has been celebrated every year at a grassfield called Theresienwiese, after Princess Therese.


Find more events from Germany here.

Go to other interesting issues on Germany: Food & Drinks, Traditional Costumes

Oktoberfest / Wiesn by JasonParis, licensed under CC BY 2.0
Oktoberfest in Munich: inside the tent by Roman Boed, licensed under CC BY 2.0