Oktoberfest started in Munich, Germany but the beer festival concept has spread throughout the world, including hundreds of events in North America, and several large Oktoberfests in South America and beyond.
Oktoberfests Around the World
Also visit Oktoberfests in the United States
Oktoberfests in Germany
Here are the dates for the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany:
- 2008: September 20 - October 5
- 2009: September 19 - October 4
- 2010: September 18 - October 3
- 2011: September 17 - October 3
- 2012 September 22 - October 7
- 2013 September 21 - October 6
- 2014 September 20 - October 5
- 2015 September 19 - October 4
The 180th Oktoberfest will be held in Munich, the capital city of Bavaria, in 2013. The first one occurred in 1810, and the event was repeated each year except during wartime.
The official opening ceremonies of the original and world's largest (an estimated six million visitors) Oktoberfest in Munich begin at the Schottenhamel tent. At noon, the Lord Mayor of Munich taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Once the barrel has been tapped, the members of the audience are allowed to quench their thirst. It's quite common for visitors to come around 9am to secure good seats. The festival usually lasts 16 days.
Besides Oktoberfest, Germany has other beer festivals (bierfests), some called "funfairs," like the Cannstatter Volksfest (or Cannstatter Wasen) in Stuttgart, the second largest beer festival in Germany and probably in Europe. The second largest Bavarian festival is the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing. The Barthelmarkt in Manching dates back to Roman times. The third largest beer festival in Bavaria is the Bergkirchweih in Erlangen, with one of the largest open-air beer gardens in Europe.
The Oktoberfest Hannover is a fair which takes place every year at the end of September or beginning of October in Hannover, Germany. It usually lasts 16 days and features 160 rides and two large beer tents seating more than a thousand people each, and numerous stands offering refreshments. With more than one million visitors each year it also claims to be the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world.
Oktoberfests occur in many German cities, including the Kölner Oktoberfest, and celebrations in Bonn and Zwickau, Germany.
The Mondial de la Biêre in Strasbourg, France (on the German border) is a beer festival that has a sister version held in Montreal, Canada.
Oktoberfests in South America
One of the largest Oktoberfests outside of Germany and the United States is the Blumenau Oktoberfest in Santa Catarina, Brazil (Reportedly averages over 750,000 visitors). Several southern cities in Brazil were populated by German people in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Blumenau Oktoberfest has been celebrated annually since 1984. There are 18 days of music, dance and foodcommemorating Brazilian ancestors that came from Germany. In 10 days in 1984, 102,000 people (more than 30% of Blumenau's population) attended and in 1992 more than 1,000,000. The average beer consumption was about one liter per person. The festival has since spread, with festivals in Santa Cruz do Sul in Santa Catarina; Igrejinha in Rio Grande do Sul; and Rolàndiain Paraná.
In Argentina the local edition of the Oktoberfest takes place in Villa General Belgrano in the Province of Córdoba and is called the National Beer Festival.
In Colombia, Oktoberfest is sponsored by Bavaria Brewery. A series of concerts and events are held in different cities, with special emphasis on those with German immigrants like Bucaramanga.
Chile's Fiesta de la Cerveza, or bierfests, are celebrated in Valdivia, Puerto Octay, Puerto Varas, Frutillar and Llanquihue.
More International Oktoberfests
In Mexico an Oktoberfest takes place in the southern part of Mexico in Xochimilco. There is also an event in Merida.
The Hong Kong Oktoberfest was started in 1991. It is celebrated in late October and early November (dry season in Hong Kong) and is hosted by the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. For the festival, the Marco Polo Hotel sets up a traditional tent with long wooden tables and benches with capacity for approximately 1,500 persons to create an Oktoberfest atmosphere. The German Band Die Notenhobler from Ulm, Germany entertains the approximately 85% Chinese audience.
In Canberra, Australia, the Harmonie German Club Oktoberfest lasts for three days every year in October.
A Vietnamese Oktoberfest celebration has been held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam since 1992. The event is organized by the German Business Association of Vietnam and the Windsor Plaza Hotel with sponsorship from the local business community, including many German companies. The 2009 event ran from October 6-11, attracting more than 10,000 guests who consumed more than 4 tons of sausages, sauerkraut, and meat carvings and over 15,000 liters of German beer.
More Beer Festivals on Wikipedia
- Dining Customs
- Menu Guide
- Festivals & Feasts
- German Food Today
- Luebeck & Marzipan
- A German Chef
- Oktoberfest Introduction
- Oktoberfest! by Lucy Saunders
- Oktoberfests Around the United States
- Oktoberfests Around the World
- Where's My Wurst?
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- Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
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- Schwarzwälderkirschtorte (Black Forest Cake)
- Spätzle (German-style Egg Noodles)
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- Weinkraut (Baked Sauerkraut with Apples)
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- Wurstsalat (Sausage Salad)
- Zwetschgen Datchi (Bavarian Plum Cake)
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This page modified August 2010