Oktoberfest (the real one, in Munich) started this past Saturday. It will run until Sunday, October 4th. Here are some Oktoberfest facts and fun stuff for those of you who want to sound smart around the water cooler and don’t already know such things.
- This year’s festival is the 176th Oktoberfest.
- Approximately 6 million people will attend.
- Approximately 1.5 million gallons of beer will be consumed.
- Cost of a litre of beer at Oktoberfest this year is about $11-$12 U.S. (roughly $5-$6 per pint)
- It is the largest public festival of this kind in the world.
- Historically, the festival is scheduled to end on the first Sunday in October.
- The event officially opens when Munich’s mayor pounds a spigot into a keg and proclaims,”It is tapped.”
- Many people are overserved and pass out. They are referred to as “Bierleichen” (“beer corpses”).
- Approximately 1,800 toilets and urinals are available for festival-goers. Men who only need to urinate are directed to use the “Pissoir” (giant enclosed grate) – a fairly recent addition to the fun.
- Oktoberfest spawns nearly 1,000 tons of garbage each year.
How did Oktoberfest get started? It was October 18th, 1810 when a royal wedding was held uniting Crown Prince Ludwig (later to become King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities which were held on the fields just outside of the city. The event featured, among other amusements, horse races. The decision to repeat the horse races the next year marks the start of what we now call Oktoberfest.
If I got anything wrong, or anyone has other stuff to add, leave a comment.