We are back in Munich, this time for Octoberfest. The largest beer party in the
world! It is held annually in a fairgrounds in the last half of September (not October). It
starts with parades on the opening Saturday and Sunday and then continues for the
next two weeks at the fairgrounds. The tradition started when the Crown Prince Ludwig
married Princess Therese on the 12th of October in 1810 and there was a big party
to celebrate the marriage.
Each of the parades leads off with a local girl representing the city of Munich. The
name means monk and the girl is dressed as a monk. (Yes, I know "monks" are men
but she is better looking.)
On Saturday the various local brewers, and there are several, put beer wagons, bands,
and groups of waitresses in colorful costumes in the parade. And various government
officials get to ride in carriages. This lasts for about 2 hours
The horses pulling the wagons are huge and decorated with harnesses covered with
chrome, brass, ribbons and bells.
The Sunday parade includes the same brewery sponsored floats from Saturday but now
there are marching bands and costumed walkers from various regions of Bavaria, Germany,
Switzerland, Poland and even one from Chico, California, USA. This parade is 3 times
longer than Saturday's with the hundred or so additional groups. We arrived early
both days and got a place on the curb. That means we stood for almost five hours
to see it all, and it was worth it.
Not everyone made it through the whole parade!
Love those dirndls (guys, that the dress she's wearing, not what you think!)
The opening weekend was dry, sunny and warm and we were sure the fairgrounds would
be packed, so we didn't go then. We wandered around Munich, had a beer in a beer
garden (or two). During Oktoberfest the famous beer is serves in a Masse, a one
liter (a little larger than a quart) beer stein. We went to the festival grounds
on Monday. It was busy, but one could get a seat in a beer hall tent. The grounds
are a combination of state fair, carnival, and several giant taverns.
This is a merry-go-round for grown-ups, it is a bar, and it goes round and round!
If you feel dizzy, maybe you haven’t had too many. It’s the bar that is going round!
The beer tents are huge. They have a band and lots of trestle tables and benches,
often pushed so close together that you must walk on the bench to get to an interior
Yes the girls can really carry that much beer.
Those are liter mugs and the mugs are very heavy even without the beer.
There was impromptu entertainment too.
A good time was had by all. But I think once is enough of these crowds. (That is
sausage and sauerkraut in front of us.)
(We saw more than one group of young men who were having a good time. You could
tell they had had more than one beer and it is only 9:00 in the morning.)