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What’s Oktoberfest and why do we celebrate?

If you’re a beer drinker, chances are you’ve heard of Oktoberfest. But what is Oktoberfest anyway? A chance to wear lederhosen and drink from a beer stein? Essentially, yes! And it’s one of our favourite “holidays”.

Originating in Germany, people from around the world organize celebrations that can last anywhere from one weekend to two weeks. It’s about great beer, good food, and stein-tapping music. Let’s dive into the Bavarian tradition that’s been around for over two centuries.

Where does it come from

The first Oktoberfest took place in 1810 after Prince Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Sassonie-Hildburghausen. Five days post-wedding, the family invited about 40,000 citizens to join the festivities at the gates of the city of Munich. The celebration lasted several days, ending on October 17. 

Today, the festival is held in the same location, in a field dubbed Theresienwiese (Meadow of Thérèse), after the princess. 

Why is Oktoberfest in September?

Early Oktoberfests were held in October to coincide with the anniversary of the first royal festival. But why the change? Only for the simple reason that temperatures are milder in late September. By just slightly shifting the date, the beer festival extends into early October, and the name avoids becoming obsolete.

Four fun facts about Oktoberfest

  1. Seven million litres of beer are sold every year during Oktoberfest Munich
  2. Albert Einstein installed beer tents as a young man at Oktoberfest in 1896
  3. Waiters/waitresses can carry 10 litres of beer at one time
  4. Kitchener-Waterloo's Oktoberfest (also known as Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival)

is the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world, after Munich

Celebrate Oktober fest with non-alcoholic beer 

At Sober Carpenter, we’ve made it easy to party the German way without alcohol. Grab our bestselling Discovery Pack, put together a spread of authentic pretzels and schnitzels, and you’ve got yourself a booze-free beer fest that’s simply wunderbar

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