Festival
general
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Tradition – German

Oktoberfest

“When my family lived in Germany, every late September/early October our town would celebrate Oktoberfest, the beer festival.  It usually starts the last two weeks of September and lasts up until the first Sunday of October.  At 12:00 on the beginning of the festival, there is a twelve gun salute and the mayor of our town taps the first keg of beer and yells ‘It’s tapped!’  During the festival, we drink lots of beer and eat sausage, hendl, käsespätzle and sauerkraut.  There are fourteen beer tents at Oktoberfest and usually we would have roller coasters and ferris wheels as well.”

My informant started going to Oktoberfest with his family at the age of five.  His parents took him to play at the amusement park while they also sampled some of the festival’s beer.  They then began to take him every year.  As he got older, my informant began to partake in Oktoberfest for the drinking and the partying.  The famous Oktoberfest beer is called “Wiesnbier” and is brewed especially for the festival.  It is stronger than regular beer.

My informant says that mainly teenagers and adults participate in Oktoberfest because it is sometimes too rowdy for children and older citizens.  However, he says that more recently there have been restrictions put on Oktoberfest so that families can feel more comfortable participating in the festival.  My informant says that Oktoberfest has become so popular that over six million people from around the world travel to Munich to see Oktoberfest.

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