200 years ago, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married his Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Not only the nobility was invited to the celebration, but also the ordinary people. The high point of the marriage celebration was a horse race on the Theresienwiese, named after the bride – the birth of the “Wies’n”, the field upon which the Oktoberfest takes place.
The Oktoberfest is an event of superlatives and the biggest folk fair in the world. Every year it draws more than six million visitors from all over Germany and the world to Bavaria’s capital city. A processional entrance of the Wies’n restaurateurs and breweries takes place each year marking the ceremonial opening of the Oktoberfest. Festively decorated horse carriages, wagons and music bands make this procession an event worth seeing. And then at precisely 12 p.m., Munich’s mayor taps the first beer barrel in the Schottenhamel tent, and with the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” (meaning “it’s tapped”) the Oktoberfest is opened.
There is a lot on offer at the Wies’n. roast chickens, giant pretzels and many other treats are to be found in the countless tents and beer gardens. Those who do not want to only enjoy the hospitable atmosphere in the beer tents can spend time on the numerous attractions. Whether it be a big wheel, giant swing or roller-coaster – there is something here for everyone!
Facts and figures
- More than 6,500,000 visitors
- More than 7,400,000 liters of beer are served every year
- 116 oxen, 85 calves and 510,000 chickens were eaten in 2014
- Around 119,000 seats are at the disposal of the Wies’n visitors
- 8,000 permanent employees and 5,000 changing employees
- 20 fairground rides are available for children