Oktoberfest, the world's most famous beer-guzzling festival, actually had a rather romantic beginning: In 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, and the happy couple celebrated their union with the whole of Bavaria. The festivities were held on the fields in front of Munich. To close the event, horse races were performed in front of the Royal Family. It was decided that the same festival would be held every October since then, and the Oktoberfest was born.
Most attendees go for the free-flowing beer, but there's more to Oktoberfest than that. Nowadays, though it's still being held at the original Munich site, numerous offshoots of the two-week festival have cropped up all over the world as German immigrants sought to bring part of their homeland with them — and no one's complaining! If you want to experience them all, check out the one nearest you or just go to the most interesting one for you, GoBear has got you covered. But before booking, make sure you and any unforeseen circumstances are covered: the perfect travel insurance will do the job. Prost!
This is where it all started: Munich, the home of the original Oktoberfest. Of course, it's still the most heavily attended one, with up to 6 million coming together for the 17-day festival. Lederhosen-clad revelers abound, an overflowing pint of beer in hand. In fact, they say that seven million liters of beer
Many Oktoberfest celebrations have sprouted in Canada, but the one at the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo is the most popular, with over one million attendees per year flocking over to the party. This one is nine days long spread over 18 days and overlaps with Canadian Thanksgiving. Incidentally, the festivities end on the day of the German equivalent of Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest. There is even an event called Oktoberfest Idol, where partygoers are invited to perform songs or dances for a chance at stardom.
Mexico City, Mexico
At Xochimilco, a borough in Mexico City, a German-style Oktoberfest with beer and bratwurst melds with a decidedly Mexican fiesta atmosphere, making for an interesting experience. It is held in Club Alemán and both the German community and the locals join in the party. The fiesta part is highlighted by amusement rides set up at the site.
The second-largest Oktoberfest is held in Brazil — another well-known festival destination. Over 700,000 to a million visitors come to this 18-day celebration to partake in music, dance, food and beer. Oktoberfest in Brazil is held in honor of the country's German ancestors, and Blumenau is one of the Southern towns where many Germans and Austrians settled.
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Hong Kong's slightly more posh version of Oktoberfest is hosted by the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, overlooking the Star Ferry pier. Compared to the others, this one is relatively young, with the first one held in 1991. A traditional tent houses long wooden tables and benches that can accommodate about 1,500 people, who get to enjoy performances by a German band every year and, of course, eat German fare with beer. Revelers also participate in a three-part program of traditional German music,
Japan, a place with never-ending cultural diversity, hardly surprises with its unusual take on Oktoberfest. Okinawa's Rocktoberfest, as evident in the name, features rock and metal bands so you can headbang while you enjoy your beer and sausages. It also serves a range of beers, including Okinawan craft beers, imported
Oktoberfest in Australia is a university affair, and they are usually held in pubs and restaurants in the university areas as it was banned from being celebrated inside campus grounds by the university council in 2012. (One wonders why…) The most popular one is held