Beer, pretzels, dancing on tables. Need I say more?
Oktoberfest, the world’s most famous beer festival in Munich, was one of the best things I have ever done! And if you, like myself, are a lover of great food, great entertainment, and of course, great beer, then this should definitely be on your to-do list for 2016. There’s something for everyone! From fairground rides to beer gardens, this festival is a must!
Nothing can compare to the moment you walk into the crowds and watch the parade to see the first keg to be tapped, and the very first beer be poured. The ladies, pretty in their Bavarian dresses, are watched by men in their leather lederhosen’s, whilst the deep brass instruments of the Oompa band play the tune of festivity. Floats, carrying the hosts and the Mayor, pass by decked with balloons and flowers, but more importantly, holding the kegs. The parade ends, the crowd cheers, the gun is fired, and the first keg containing that precious liquid gold is opened – Oktoberfest begins!
Wooden huts are dotted around the area selling the local dishes. The smell of freshly baked pretzels and slow-cooked meat wafts over you, and lingers just long enough to tempt you to try some proper German food. There’s a buzz in the air, an excitement, an eagerness to get involved and embrace the festivities.
First stop, beer garden. Rows and rows of wooden benches are set out in the massive yard holding around twenty people per bench, filling the garden with endless chatter, laughter and song. The Bavarian waitresses fill their arms with up to fourteen steins to quickly please the thirsty travellers and are welcomed with a cheer as the beers slam down on the benches. You receive your stein and clash your glass with those around you and yell ‘Prost!’– German for Cheers! As you sip your cold stein, and await your order of that salty German pretzel, you chat to the people next to you, after all, you have something in common – a love of beer! Soon strangers become friends, and the chatting turns to laughter as you learn more about the people who have travelled across the world for this fantastic festival.
The day progresses, the beers continue to flow, and you enter the tents. The huge brick buildings holding the beer, the people, and the famous dancing on tables. The Schottenhamel became my haven, known for its popular German songs and classic eighties tunes, this tent is all about fun. It isn’t long before you’ve become friends with the fellow beer drinkers on your table (and tables across from you!) Soon you’re dancing on tables, learning authentic German dances, whilst singing aloud to the Oompa band that centres the room. Between dances, you stop and have a German feed.
A trip of laughter, fantastic people, dancing, and beers, has turned the tradition of Oktoberfest into a must for each year!