Blog: Kommen sie bitte zum Oktoberfest
Olly Wehring | 18 September 2013
It's almost here. This year's Oktoberfest kicks off this week in Munich, as ever. The beer festival runs until 6 October and if you've never been before, then trust me, you should.
Whether you're attending or not, here, courtesy of travel website momondo.co.uk are some lesser-known facts about the event to either bore you fellow trinkers with or to whet your appetite for next year.
- The Oktoberfest without alcohol?
In the beginning, there was no alcohol at all. Beer and other alcoholic beverages could only be purchased outside the festival area. The organisers and the city authorities quickly realised, however, that it would make sense to allow the sale of beer at the festival. Only then, the traditional beer tents were established.
- 'Bierleichen' and 'Wildbiesler' as art objects
The art project "Les Disasters of beers" is dedicated to the darker side of the festival - people who urinate in the open, empty their stomachs, or otherwise derail.
- Einstein as a labourer
The physics genius actively contributed to the Munich festival. In 1896, Albert Einstein worked as a labourer in the construction of Schottenhamel tent.
- About 130,000 greetings to the whole world
The Oktoberfest also features its own post office, which the German Post sets up in the festival grounds each year. Souvenirs and cards are sent from there to all corners of the world.
- The big business: Over 60,000 Oktoberfest items on Ebay
60,279 items have been found to date on Ebay under "Oktoberfest". From the dirndl (a beer waitress' blouse), to Oktoberfest blue and white home decoration, fans of the largest folk festival can find almost anything here. Even historical treasures are selling at the online auction house, with a seller offering a comprehensive collection consisting exclusively of 930 Oktoberfest steins.
- Thousand times more
Hefty price hikes are common at the Oktoberfest. Each year the Maßpreis rises - this year, a Maß will cost up to EUR9.85. Historically, it has risen a thousand times - between 1950 and 2010, an increase of 1,081% was recorded.
- Waiting time: up to 20 years
This doesn’t mean how long it takes to grab one of the coveted tables in the beer tents, but to become 'Wiesn host'. Whoever applies to the City of Munich lands on a waiting list until a place becomes available, the when another one says goodbye. And it is also very expensive - costing around EUR2m for the construction and dismantling of a tent. Therefore, only the most experienced Munich hosts welcome guests at the Theresienwiese.
- A measure equivalent to eight shots
The alcohol content sounds incredibly high, but the favourite drink of visitors is not your typical beer, but a specially-brewed beverage for the festival. This beer’s original alcohol content is up to 1.3% higher than conventional beer.
- Indian leather pants?
Those who dress in leather pants and assume they are wearing a traditional Bavarian garment may be wrong! The goats that supply the leather for new Oktoberfest Lederhosen have often been raised in India or Pakistan.
- The great career of a Saxon toast
The famous toast " Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit ", which is regularly accompanied with a swig from the tankard, does not even come from Bavaria. It was drafted by the Chemnitz musician Bernhard Dittrich.
- Accommodation in the luxury class
During Oktoberfest, hotel rates in Munich double. Only in the case of luxury accommodation, looking at the most expensive hotel suite of the city, do prices remain constant. The "Royal Suite Ludwig" in the Four Seasons Hotel with Cararra marble, floors made of calfskin and a 24- hour butler service, costs EUR15,000 per night.
- Munich on the run
Not all people from Munich love the two-week festival. More than 27,000 people look for a holiday at this time with departure from Munich. Particularly popular destinations are Bangkok, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Istanbul and New York. The Thai capital is by far the favourite destination for Muencheners.
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