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Oktoberfest, the Celebration of Beer


When a tradition works, why not copy it?

When Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen celebrated their marriage in Munich in 1810, they never would have imagined that their ceremony would be the origin of one of the most famous festivals in Europe and part of America.

Today, in the twenty-first century, the German city is known for the event it organizes whose name speaks for itself and where mugs of beer and most authentic bratwurst are the main event over the course of several days filled with costumes, music and German-style partying.

Tradition dictates that every self-respecting Oktoberfest should start with the famous opening of the barrel to the cry of “O´ zapft is!” This means “It is tapped!” And that is when the party begins and beer may be served. The beer must meet specific conditions (the Reinheitsgebot) to be considered authentic German beer: a minimum of 6% alcohol and it has to be brewed within the Munich city limits.

Other key aspects of this celebration are the parades in costumes typical of the area, accompanied by brass bands and carriages which enliven the experience. Each city also organizes activities to complement the big events, which range from children´s shows and performances by live DJs to photography competitions.

While access to the tents at Oktoberfest is usually free, we would still recommend reservations in advance to ensure a good spot. Then you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy authentic German cuisine and the legendary mug of beer that will bring out the German in you.

Here are some of the cities where you can celebrate beer:

• Munich, throughout the city from September 20 to October 5.
• Barcelona, in Fira Barcelona Montjuïc (Plaza Universo), next to Plaza España, from October 3 to 12.
• Madrid, at the Palacio de Deportes (Sports Palace), from September 17 to 21.
• Calella (Barcelona), on the Calella Beach, from October 4 to 25.
• Dublin, in ISFC Docklands, from September 18 to October 5.
• Malloco (Chile), at the Events Center Munich, from October 23 to November 2.

Mónica Boixeda

Everyone should visit Oktoberfest at least once. Are you interested? You can visit one of our apartments in Munich and join in the German toast: Proust!