Each year the Oktoberfest (colloquially known as “Wiesn”) officially starts with the mayor of Munich’s words “O’zapft is”, meaning that the first barrel of beer has been officially tapped. Here is everything you need to know about the famous Bavarian beer festival.
The Oktoberfest is based on traditions – from food and clothing to the opening parade. Even though there is no official dress code, young and old mostly wear traditional costumes. These range from leather dungarees (the “Lederhosen“) to the famous and colourful Dirndl dresses.
Looking for a “Gschpusi” (German dialect for romance)? Then it’s essential to know that if a woman wears the bow of her Dirndl apron on the left side she’s single. Hands off though if the bow is on the right – that means she’s married!
If you know where your chosen one is staying for the night and you can get hold of a ladder, then why not try to climb through you sweetheart’s window. But be careful – not everyone is familiar with this old tradition and you might end up causing a scene!
You like beer, sausages and roast chicken? Then the Oktoberfest is THE place to go to. Only the local Munich beer breweries are allowed to serve their beer there. It comes in one litre jugs, called “Maß” (pronounced “mass”). The most famous is probably the beer from the Hofbräuhaus – a traditional Bavarian brewery.
To find your way round it’s certainly important to know some German words and phrases: in addition to “O’zapft is” and “Maß”, “Danke” (thank you), “Prost” (cheers) and “Oans, zwoa, drei, gsuffa!” are the most important ones. The latter is a phrase used to motivate people to drink, meaning “one, two, three, down the hatch!”.
Well, then there’s only one thing left to say: “Oans, zwoa, drei, gsuffa!”
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Each year more than 6 million visitors go to the Oktoberfest, drinking more than 7 million litres of beer. Read more.
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