More on Oktoberfest

(Just a little note, since I am on an iPad, most of my pictures will be uploaded when I get back)

As you can see from the last post, our group throughly enjoyed our first experience at Oktoberfest.  To give a little background on Oktoberfest, it is hosted for two weeks and three weekends on large fair grounds.  There is much more than large beer halls, there is a full out fair complete with carnival rides, acts and tons and tons of food.

The start of the ferstival was around 1800 when King Ludwig of Germany was to be married.  He wanted to havea large party and they had such a good time, it ended up lasting two weeks.  Ever since then, millions of people have flocked into Munich at the of September for the largest party on the planent.

There are 14 beer halls in all and you typically have to get there very early or have a reservation to get a seat. Coincidentally, the only way to get served beer is if you are at a table so it is imperative you have one.  We arrived at the grounds around 8PM on the first night so we thought there was no way we would find a table yet alone get into a tent.  

Inside the Hacker Tent. 

However, we ended up "sneaking" into a side door and four much older Germans invited all nine of us to sing, dance and drink beer with them.  It was clear though that this was more than a large party, it is a cultural event just like one may consider Super Bowl Sunday a cultural event for Americans.  Entire families from little kids to grandparents attend the Wisen, the younger ones are of course not drinking the beer. 

Other traditoinal aspects of the festival include attire, food and music.  Everyone, and I mean everyone is dressed in traditional German outfits, lederhosen for men and dirndls for women.  If you were to wear a costume or even jeans, you would stand out in the hoards of people dressed up in traditional German attie. Then there is food, chicken, ox, white sausage and of course jumbo pretzels.  Half way through the day a German band compelete with tubas, trombones and organs rowdys up the crowd with favorites from all over the world.  

Our traditional German outfits. 

Aside from the singing and dancing, we were also able to converse with our new German comrades.  We got some brief insight into the German culture, specifically Bavaria.  The couple we had met were Munich locals who come to the Wisen every year.  They explained to us how people from Bavaria were a little different than the rest of Germany and that they even had there own dialect.  By the end of the evening they had even given us their email address to send them pictures from night.  The festival was truly an incredible expierence, but it wasn't over for us, we had a full day ahead of us on Sunday, the day we had all been waiting for...


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