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The Story Behind Oktoberfest


Oktoberfest surely rings a bell for every beer-lover and fan of German culture, and of course Berlin pub crawl enthusiasts. If you’re into these, than you’ve probably been to an Octoberfest before somewhere in the world. Though invented in Bavaria, the event is celebrated all around the globe today to the enjoyment of millions. Here’s the story behind our favorite beer binge festival!

It is most likely that the whole thing started in 1810, on the occasion of the wedding of Ludwig I and the lady Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The whole of Munich took part in the event that was made memorable with horse races and tasting of beer and wine. Building upon the success of the show, the festival was celebrated a year later and from there on, it was here to stay. In 1819, the city took over the organization and new races, carnival and games were added.

By the end of the 19th century the Oktoberfest grew and lasted longer, beer and food booths appeared and musicians gathered to entertain the crowd. A procession soon became a tradition, remembering the wedding of Ludwig I and Princess Theresa, led by the Münchner Kindl, a child in a monk’s robe, who is the symbol of the city. As the popularity of the festival grew, the small beer stalls were transformed into giant beer halls, where thousands of guest and bands could celebrate together.

On the 100th anniversary of the first Oktoberfest, 120,000 liters of beer was drunk by the thirsty locals to truly commemorate the majestic wedding. The coming years saw the growth of the celebrations, which was only suspended because of the two world wars. After the 1950’s, a new tradition was settled. The major of Munich opens the first keg of beer at 12.00 AM on the first day, which marks the beginning of the revelry. A special Oktoberfest Bier is drank during the festival, which is somewhat stronger than regular Bavarian beer. Of course, this has only helped people to get drunk earlier than usual.

If thinking of beer makes you excited, and you feel ready to launch into party mood, book a pub tour in Berlin with us and have a festival of your own with a nice and thirsty crowd!

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