Wednesday, 10 October 2012

October in Germany.....must be Oktoberfest

Now, I'm nowhere near Munich, or even Bavaria for that matter, but that doesn't stop the local (and not so local) businesses trying to cash in on what must be Germany's best known 'fest'.

Yes, down in sunny Bayern (Bavaria to you and me) and in M√ľnchen (or Munich) to be more precise, in September each year, the spectacle that is the Oktoberfest takes place.  This fortnight long (approximately, depending on when the first Sunday in October lands) beer fest was started in 1810 to commemorate the Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Theresa.  The fields where the first festival were held were called the Theresienwiese in her honour but this has been shortened by the locals to the "Wies'n" and this is the location of the Oktoberfest beer tents and fairground. And yes, it's not actually in October - it runs for the 16 days prior to the first Sunday in October - but let's not split hairs on this - some of it will be in October!

Some more interesting facts and figures from Wikipedia.

Well, the whole of Germany seems to sit up and want to join the party during the Oktoberfest.  Here, in my little corner of Nord-Rhein Westfalen, almost every restaurant or brewery seems to be having an 'Oktoberfest Woche' a week where there are themed menus and special beers, even the school canteen is offering Bavarian specialities this week - much to #1son's chagrin! 

The supermarkets too cash in on this feverishness during the run up to the Fest, there are often special offers on all things Bayrisch from Breze (pretzels) to beer - and all things in between.  You see the classic blue and white checked symbol of Bavaria on all manner of items, not just those which may be in any small way related to the fest - indeed today at a local shop I came across Oktoberfest themed nappies - I did actually buy them as they were a 'special edition' of my usual buy - they are quite sweet though!

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