Bayern, the home of Oktoberfest, one of the biggest beer bashes around the world. Bayern, known to English speakers as Bavaria, is a southern German state which is best known for Munich, beer central. It is here where you can get your beer drinkin’ on with the best of them.
Oktoberfest is a 16 day yearly festival celebrated in late September into early October. Oddly enough, Oktoberfest starts in September but it’s truth enough for the Germans. The worlds largest fair, centered in Munich, attends six million people roaring to party (and yes, to drink some beer).
You don’t have to be a big sauerkraut fan to love Oktoberfest because it’s celebrated all around the world in an attempt to mimic the fun of Munich.
Unfortunately, the beer bash was put on hold from 1914 through 1918 because of World War I and two years later they held an “Autumn Fest” but nothing compared to a traditional Oktoberfest. Another two years they held it off again because of inflation but Oktoberfest wouldn’t fade away.
Wikipedia has some impressive facts (fake or real, they’re neat):
- 12,000 people are employed at the Oktoberfest. Of these, 1600 are waitresses[Barmaids].
- There is seating available for 100,000 people.
- The six Oktoberfest breweries, (Spaten, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu) sold 6.1 million mugs of beer in 2006.
- 102 Roasted Oxen
- 219,442 pairs of sausages
- 459,279 roasted chickens
- 60% of the visitors arrive via public transport
There is so much refuse and waste from Oktoberfest that the city streets are washed down nightly to prepare for the next day of celebration and the waste is hauled away. Of course, lines for the toilets are extremely long and people using the stalls for a quiet place to make mobile phone calls doesn’t help (a problem that may get solved by blocking mobile phone access in the future).