The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

The Oktoberfest in Munich

I could hear loud conversations and boisterous laughter last night, and on looking out of the window of my Munich hotel room, the source became clear. These were youngsters who were returning after a long session of serious drinking at one of the tents in the Theresienwiese area of the city.

“Must go there and see for myself,” I decided.

The Oktoberfest is an annual event in Munich – while the name suggests that it is held in October, it actually commences in the second half of September. Over seven million people visit the city for this 200-year old event, including from outside of Munich and even Germany.

Having taken a S-Bahn train to the Hauptbahnhof station with the view to connect by the U-Bahn to Theresienwiese, I was staggered by the sheer numbers of people headed in the same direction. Young and old, families, children in strollers, they were all there, and one could tell that the beer drinking had begun prior to getting to the venue.

And, once in Theresienwiese itself, it was a different world. The streets were packed with people, there were the traditional rides and other attractions normally associated with fairs, and, finally, there were the huge beer tents set up all over the place.

I was informed that a table for 12 at one of the beer tents can cost as much as a thousand Euros, and bookings have to be made as much as a year in advance. Walk-in visitors might find room to walk, but forget about sitting down.

Beer brewed within the city limits of Munich is the only variety permitted to be sold at this festival, and the beverage does not come cheap. A one-litre tankard costs approximately 9 Euros, but that does nothing to dampen the “spirits” of the revelers. This beer has an alcohol content of 5.8 to 6.3% compared to the normal 5.2% in German beer.

The consumption numbers are staggering – 7 million litres of beer were consumed in the 2010 Oktoberfest. This was apart from 125,000 litres of wines. As compared to this, 245,000 litres of coffee and 1 million litres of water & lemonade were consumed.

It was interesting to see people dressed in the traditional Bavarian clothes, too.

Amazing event, and it was with some regret that I walked away to catch a train back to the airport.

 

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September 26, 2011 - Posted by | About this and that, Human Behavior | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Why Regret?
    You didn’t have one?

    Like

    Comment by Revathy Venkatratnam | October 4, 2011 | Reply


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