Oktoberfest: basically any college students dream. Drinking (chugging) Liters of beer all day, eating what I call, “fair food”, and singing and dancing with thousands of your closest friends. I mean, what is not to like? I have never been to Oktoberfest before, but as I prepare to go for a weekend trip at the beginning of October with Smartrip, I wanted to do a little bit of research, because from what I have heard, I am imagining it to be a huge fraternity tailgate with a German theme. The similarities seem to be everywhere….. people dressed up in costumes, drinking liters of beer outside starting at 9:00 am, all while drunk eating, singing and dancing. I’ll keep you posted If it is anything like I’m expecting. If it is though, I am sure I (and all the other American college students) will fit in just fine!
All jokes aside though, I did want to read up a little on Oktoberfest, as I was sure there had to be more to it than the beer. In fact, I was right. I would have never guessed that what I imagine to be a HUGE beer party, first started over 200 years ago as a celebration of a royal wedding. In October of 1810, Prince Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen and this royal marriage was celebrated with a 5 day feast and party just outside of Munich. So thanks to Prince Ludwig, who would later become King of Germany, Munich is now home to the world’s largest ‘Volksfest’ (beer and folk festival). Imagine your anniversary being celebrated for 16 days every year from people all over the world. Talk about wedding goals! While the first ‘Oktoberfest’ was celebrated in 1810, the festival has not been celebrated every year since then due to things like war and other events that prevented the festival from happening. Turns out Oktoberfest is actually a historical celebration, so whoever said skipping class to go was wrong, obviously haven’t done their homework (*cough cough mom*).
Although I did say that I am expecting Oktoberfest to be a lot like a huge fraternity tailgate (and I mean that in the best way possible-there is nothing better than a good tailgate), I know for sure that no tailgate I have ever been to served as high quality beer as Oktoberfest does. The 6 breweries which are allowed to serve beer at Oktoberfest have to meet the standards of the “German Purity Law” which ensure their quality. Maybe it is different at other schools, but I’m 100% sure that Natural Light keg beer served from a trashcan does not meet any ‘purity laws.’ While there are 6 different types of beer served, there are about 14 different tents where you can sit and drink. And if for some reason you don’t like beer, there are other tents that serve wine, however, based on what I’ve read, you are probably better off staying back and exploring Munich rather than going to the festival if you don’t like beer.
Speaking of Munich, that is another part of the trip I am really looking forward to, exploring the city. I’ve heard such good things about Munich and it will be nice to spend the first day of the trip seeing the city before we all drink so much beer that we can’t even move. On Friday, after we get there and get settled, I am planning on joining the group bike tour of Munich that is offered as an optional activity on the trip. It definitely won’t be the worst idea to exercise a little before the day of drinking starts on Saturday!
I can’t wait to head to Munich and experience what I expect to be the world’s biggest and highest quality Fraternity tailgate party in the world. Stay tuned for my next article about my actual experience! We’ll see if my predictions are true or not! As they say at Oktoberfest: PROST!