Auf Wiedersehen Oktoberfest
– A photo of Matthias-Pschorr Strasse from the Bavaria Statue –
Greetings from the Wiesn! For more than two hundred years, the Oktoberfest has been the highlight of Munich’s calendar, and is considered the world’s largest folk festival. This year, the weather has been very cooperative so far, with mostly fair weather greeting the estimated three million visitors to the Theresienwiese in just the first week and a half. By the end of the 18 days, an estimated 6.2 million visitors enjoyed the Wiesn.
Typical food offerings like Hendl, Brezn, and Spätzle have been abundant, and a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes are also available in many tents. In the Ochsenbraterei, sixty (60) Ox were already cooked and served by the Fest midpoint (in comparison to 55 by the same time last year), and by the end of the Fest, 127 had been served!
This was my second time auf die Wiesn; I was out here last year for the marriage of two dear friends, and their celebration coincided with Oktoberfest, so it was practically a requirement that we make a trip to the Wiesn part of my visit. I immediately knew that I’d be returning again and again, and that I would want to share my experience with others.
A quick tour of the perimeter to get a feel for the Stimmung of the fest revealed the usual revelry and an abundance of souvenirs including the famed Gingerbread Hearts (Lebkuchenherzen).
– One of the more robust offerings of Lebkuchenherzen –
We then made our way to the Ochsenbraterei for lunch and a Maß, and while the Ochsenbraterei is best known for its meat offerings, there were substantial vegetarian offerings noted on the menu.
– The front entrance to the famed Ochsenbraterei –
– Interior of the Ochsenbraterei, which seats nearly 6000 people (with another 1600 outside seats) –
– Rows of empty mugs await filling –
– Hungry fest-goers are served –
Our next stop was the Löwenbräu Festzelt, where we enjoyed a bit more food and a change in atmosphere. Even at 5pm, the mood in the tent was starting to change, but it was almost on cue at 6pm, when the tent felt more crowded, and more and more people began singing and dancing on the benches. The “Oktoberfest-Barometer” (available via the official Oktoberfest App) can predict when the Wiesn might be busiest, and the App can also inform on how full various tents are. The App can be downloaded from http://www.muenchen.de/app .
– The front entrance of the Löwenbrau-Festzelt, which seats 5700 inside and another 2800 outside) –
-The interior of the Löwenbräu-Festzelt –
– A tray of food headed to hungry fest-goers at the Löwenbrau-Festzelt –
– Traditional breads, including the giant Breze –
– Festgoers in Tracht in the Löwenbräu-Festzelt –
– The servers working hard to keep everyone happy, with just a few of the estimated 7.5 Million Maß served –
One of the treats this year was the Oide Wiesn – a traditional and historical corner of the Wiesn. An estimated 480,000 visitors enjoyed this look back into history as well as the constant cultural performances in the Festzelt Tradition like partnerdances, Schuhplattler Dances, and the Whip cracking (Goasslschnalzer).
– Festzelt Tradition, with a capacity of 5000 inside (and an additional 2700 outside) features a large dance floor for performances –
– Festzelt Tradition offered more traditional feel and plenty of Tracht –
– The Alphorn performance was a crowd favorite –
This year’s Fest ended on 03 October 2017, and I’m already looking forward to kicking off next year’s event on Saturday, 22 September 2018. For more information about Oktoberfest, you can visit the official site at http://www.oktoberfest.eu.
Until then, Prost!
All Images: Copyright ©2017 http://www.splitsecondimaging.com
Christopher Chin is an accomplished underwater videographer and writer who has traveled extensively and speaks several languages. He studied German at the University of California, Berkeley, and quickly fell in love with the German language, culture and people. In early 2006, Christopher co-founded The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), and currently serves as its Executive Director.
Christopher is an internationally recognized expert in ocean policy and conservation issues, and has provided valuable and persuasive testimony to various governing and legislative bodies in the U.S. and in Canada, and he has had the privilege of addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations on two separate occasions.
Ralph Hernandez says
This was our 3rd yearly Octoberfest. And it was wonderful!!! The first day we attended the Sunday parade which was totally amazing. 2.5 hours standing was a little difficult however but was worth it. Four days later we went back to to Octerberfest with German famil(wife is from Germany). We took our time,went to different tents and ate great food and beer. Put this in your bucket list and you’ll never regret.
Hi Ralph, I am glad that you had such a great experience. Lucky you, that you and your family could be at this year’s Oktoberfest! 🙂 I always loved to attend the Sunday parade as well when growing up. It was one of the best parts of Oktoberfest for me, despite the hours of standing. There is always so much to see!
Hans W. Eberhard says
The History of the German American in early Los Angeles City and County
Before the Railroads and Freeways
is now available at the Tricentennial Foundation.