From Academic Kids

For the Oktoberfest style of beer, see Mrzen
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Carriage parade, Oktoberfest 2004

Oktoberfest is a two-week beer festival held each year in Munich (Mnchen), Bavaria, Germany, during late September and early October. It is one of the most famous events in the city and the world's largest fair, with some 6 million people attending in 2002. Other cities across the world also hold fairs, modeled after the Munich event, called Oktoberfest.



Oktoberfest at night
Oktoberfest at night

The event takes place during the 16 days before the first Sunday in October on an area named the "Theresienwiese", and is called "die Wiesn" ("the meadow", in Bavarian dialect) for short. A special Oktoberfest beer is brewed for the occasion (see also Märzen), which is slightly darker and stronger, in both taste and alcohol. It is served in a one-liter-tankard called Ma (IPA: [ma:s]). Only local Munich breweries are allowed to serve this beer in so-called Bierzelte (beer "tents") which hold some 3,000–10,000 people.

Visitors also consume large quantities of food, most of it traditional hearty fare such as sausage, hendl (chicken) and sauerkraut, along with such Bavarian delicacies as roast ox tails.


The first Oktoberfest, held from October 12October 17, 1810 in Munich, was a horse race on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Because of its success, it was repeated annually, later also with an agricultural fair, dance, music and amusement rides. Overall, the celebration had to be cancelled in 24 years, because of war, disease or other problems. Horse races ended in 1960.

On September 26, 1980, a bomb explosion near the entrance killed 13 visitors and injured 200 more. The bomb had been placed by a 21-year-old neo-nazi who died at the scene.

Dates of next events:

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Oktoberfest marching band, Opening day 2004
  • 2005: September 17 to October 3
  • 2006: September 16 to October 1
  • 2007: September 22 to October 6
  • 2008: September 20 to October 5
  • 2009: September 19 to October 4
  • 2010: September 18 to October 3
  • 2011: September 17 to October 2

Oktoberfest in other cities

Many other places have beer festivals, but generally reserve the name "Oktoberfest" for the Munich event. Due to a joke on The Simpsons there is now a Scottish version called Scotchtoberfest.

External links

fr:Fte de la bire it:Oktoberfest nl:Oktoberfest no:Oktoberfest pl:Oktoberfest pt:Oktoberfest sk:Oktoberfest fi:Oktoberfest sv:Oktoberfest uk:Октоберфест


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