There are so many fun things to do at Oktoberfest. This is why it’s no wonder that an average of 6 million tourists flock to Munich every single year! But of the many people that enjoy it and know about it, some details about Oktoberfest remain unknown and unfamiliar. These Oktoberfest details will be what this article is all about. Here, we’d enlist everything that not all people – including you – know about Oktoberfest. Knowing them will allow you to fully appreciate Oktoberfest and truly enjoy and maximize the legendary celebration. Read on and get ready to instantly be an Oktoberfest expert!
10 Things Not Most People Know About Oktoberfest
- It all started with a wedding.
Yes, the legendary festival that serves non-stop beer, like almost all things, started with love. It was the royal wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese that served as the very first Oktoberfest. It wasn’t called Oktoberfest then and no tents whatsoever were available but it included days of merry-making, eating, and horse racing. Munich residents loved the celebration so much that they decided to do it every year. It is then that the celebration transformed into the extremely popular festival that it is now.
- There used to be no alcohol involved.
As the first-ever Oktoberfest was not all about beer, it naturally did not have beer at its center. It was even only in 1818 or eight years after the first wedding celebration that beer and other foods were introduced to Oktoberfest. The original Oktoberfest beer was called Märzen as it was prepared as early as March or six months before the actual festivity.
- Munich’s mayor has a say over when the drinking starts.
No one gets to drink or party without the approval of Munich’s mayor. This is not a strict law but a matter of tradition. In Oktoberfest, no keg is to be opened if Munich’s mayor has yet to tap the very first keg publicly while saying “O’ zapft is!” or “It’s tapped!” in English. After that, the first person to get a beer is the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. It is only then that everyone is free to get their own and “Prost!” away!
- Love is all around.
Pretzels do not solely dominate the festival. The other queen of pastries is Oktoberfest’s heart-shaped gingerbread cookies. These heart-shaped cookies come with sweet messages that were written with icing. They also come with ribbons so that anyone who will receive it can wear them with pride. These heart-shaped gingerbread cookies are often given by one lover to another. They’re also perfect souvenirs that you can bring home to loved ones!
- Oktoberfest exclusively serves Munich beer.
Oktoberfest is known all over the world as the party to be at if you want to enjoy good premium beer. It has this reputation because it is simply the truth. Oktoberfest only serves high-quality Munich beer that is exclusively served by local Munich breweries. Such a list is limited because it is only the six local breweries that can strictly follow Germany’s extremely meticulous and particular beer purity law. Yes, Germans have a law entirely dedicated to beer quality. That is how efficient they are and that is how serious they are in serving good beer.
- There are beer corpses.
You need to be aware of beer corpses. Beer corpses, for starters, are not zombies or dead people. They are simply individuals who have had one too many pints during the festivity. Such a term came to be because the locals would also refer to drunk people who pass out as “Bierleichen” or beer corpses. Better be careful because you’d find them everywhere during the festival!
- Oktoberfest has been canceled 26 times.
If you think that nothing can cancel Oktoberfest, then you’re very wrong. The festival has been canceled on several occasions already. Its most recent cancellation was last year and the year 2020. Wars and pandemics were the only reason for Oktoberfest to ever be canceled.
- There are vomit-proof sneakers for Oktoberfest.
These sneakers are perfect if you have all the intention to be safe from beer corpses and your actual self. Oktoberfest is so big and it’s projectile vomiters so popular, that Adidas opted to create a limited edition vomit-proof sneakers. These sneakers are perfect if you’re all about enjoying the night away and have no intention whatsoever to put an ounce of care when it comes to avoiding people’s drunken shenanigans.
- The locals refer to Oktoberfest differently.
Locals don’t refer to the festivity as Oktoberfest. They instead refer to it as “Wiesn.” So, if you’re around Munich and you hear “wiesn”, please know that the locals are referring to what the whole world knows as Oktoberfest. “Wiesn” came from the word “Theresienwiese” which is the name of the area where the festivity takes place. Such an area was named after Princess Therese when she got married to Prince Ludwig 212 years ago.
- Paris Hilton is banned from Oktoberfest.
If there is one famous person that is not allowed to enjoy or party at Oktoberfest, it would be Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton was banned from attending and partaking in any Oktoberfest celebration in Munich after a scandalous scene where she attended the festivity wearing a sexualized version dirndl. The locals deemed this as gravely inappropriate and offensive as the locals highly respect their traditional clothes.