The Oktoberfest is the world's largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16 to 18 day folk festival running from mid to late September to the first Sunday in October, with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is called d’Wiesn, after the colloquial name for the fairgrounds, Theresienwiese. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since the year 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations that are modeled after the original Munich event. There’s even one in lil old Cullman Alabama.
The Munich Oktoberfest originally took place in the 16-day period leading up to the first Sunday in October. In 1994, this longstanding schedule was modified in response to German reunification. As such, if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or the 2nd, then the festival would run until 3 October (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival now runs for 17 days when the first Sunday is 2 October and 18 days when it is 1 October. In 2010, the festival lasted until the first Monday in October (4 October), to mark the event's bicentennial.
During the event, large quantities of Oktoberfest Beer are consumed. During the 16-day festival in 2013, for example, 7.7 million litres (66,000 US bbl; 1,700,000 imp gal) were served. Visitors also enjoy numerous attractions, such as amusement rides, sidestalls, and games. There is also a wide variety of traditional foods available.
Only beer from Munich breweries may be served on the Wiesn. The six Munich breweries at Oktoberfest are Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten.
The modern Maßkrug is slightly larger than 1 litre, with a fill line denoting the level to which the beer must be filled; the area above the line denotes space for the head to expand. Selling beer in mugs with a fraudulent or missing calibration mark is prosecuted as fraud. An "Association Against Fraudulent Pouring [of Beer]" ("Verein gegen betrügerisches Einschenken") in Munich fights for the customer rights of beer drinkers, and is mostly active on Oktoberfest.
The endurance sport of Maßkrugstemmen involves holding a filled 2.4-kilogram (5.3 lb) Maß at arm's length. The world record is 45 minutes and 2 seconds. While the sport is believed to have originated in Bavaria, Germany, competitions are now seen worldwide. A governing body has been created in the United States as the U.S. Steinholding Association
Below are some of my Maßkrug. If you’ll notice the date on middle one, it’s just the before the wall fell. I was in Mannheim Germany when the wall fell in Berlin.
After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall. The Brandenburg Gate, a few meters from the Berlin Wall, was opened on 22 December 1989. The demolition of the Wall officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in 1994. The "fall of the Berlin Wall" paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990.
The 187th Oktoberfest should have taken place from Sep 18 to Oct 3, 2021. But for the second year in a row, the Corona pandemic has caused the event to be canceled. However, because it was supposed to begin Sep 18 this year, and because Sep 18 is my birthday, I brewed a Festbier for a backyard celebration complete with German music, food, and decorations.
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