The Story of Oktoberfest and Bavarian Clothing:
The Octoberfest history starts in 1810 with a wedding ceremony between Prince Lewis I (1825 King of Bavaria) and Princess Therese. They organized a horserace and celebrated 5 days with almost all citizens of Munich inviting them for food and beer. As the festival was such a great success they decided to repeat Octoberfest every year. As time passed the promoters offered more and more attractions like beer tents, restaurants, carousels, rollercoasters etc. so that it has become a funfair in the end of 19th century. An interesting fact is that most people didn't wear the famous Bavarian Clothing as an Octoberfest Costume in 19th century.
In 2010 the Octoberfest history was celebrated by its 200th Birthday with more than 6 Mio. visitors on an area of 310,000m². Also the venue hasn’t changed since 1810 – it’s still at Theresienwiese, which was named after princess Therese after the wedding. That’s the reason why you hear Bavarians say – they go to the “Wiesn”, which means they go to Octoberfest at the Theresienwiese.
Part of the Octoberfest history are several customs. For example on the first day of the yearly Octoberfest the mayor of Munich starts the festival at 12 p.m. when he taps the first beer keg with the words “O zapft is!” (English = It is tapped!). The first beer is reserved for the Bavarian prime minister. After this ceremony the festival lasts 17 days (17.09.2016 – 03.10.2016) and attracts tourists from all over the world especially from USA, Great Britain, Italy and Australia.
They mainly come to drink local German Beer and party with a mix of international and German Music in one of the 14 huge beer tents. All customers consume more than 6,000,000 Liters (=160,000 Gallons) of beer! Yes, Germans love their beer... but take care – the Bavarian beer is usually stronger than others 😉 . It has about 6% of Alcohol but it even feels stronger as you drink it in 1 Liter Glasses, which are called “Maß” [mas].
Except for beer the festival offers traditional German food like grilled chicken ("Händl"),Huge Pretzels ("Brezn"),Grilled Sauges ("Würstl"),roasted pork ("Schweinshaxe") as well as different kind of sweets like sugared almonds.
More Oktoberfest informations and inside tips can be found on our homepage.
Traditionally the visitors of the festival wear an Octoberfest Costume (German: “Tracht”): Lederhosen and plaid shirt for Men and Dirndl for Women. The Bavarian Clothing used to be just workwear for farmers and most people stopped wearing them at all. But in the beginning of the 20th century the Lederhosen Outfit became in fashion again and people started wearing them for the revival of old Bavarian traditions. Today you can still see some citizens with Lederhosen Outfit and Dirndl Dress but mostly they wear Bavarian Clothing on Octoberfest or Springfest. It's not required to dress up on the festival but it's similar to Halloween or Karneval when everybody has a costume and asks why YOU are not dressed.
However, a Lederhosen Outfit could be very expansive. Bavarian people spend hundreds of Euros to buy those traditional German clothing with a high quality so that they can use them a life long. If you are a tourist you're probably looking for cheaper solutions: