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Bavaria statue on the Theresienwiese ()

Oktoberfest is a two-week beer festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, during late September and early October. It is one of the most famous events in the city and the world's largest fair, with some 6 million people attending in 2002. Other cities across the world also hold fairs called Oktoberfest.

Table of contents
1 Description
2 History
3 Dates of next events:
4 Oktoberfest in other cities
5 External links


The event takes place during the 16 days before the first Sunday in October on an area named the "Theresienwiese", and is called "die Wiesn" for short. A special Oktoberfest beer "Märzen" is brewed for the occasion, which is somewhat darker and stronger. Only local Munich publicans are allowed to serve this beer in so called Bierzelte (beer tents) which contain some 3000-5000 people.


The first Oktoberfest, held from October 12 - October 17, 1810 in Munich, was a horse race on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Because of its success, it was repeated annually, later also with an agricultural fair, dance, music and amusement rides. Overall, the celebration had to be cancelled in 24 years, because of war, disease or other problems. Horse races ended in 1960.

On September 26, 1980, a bomb explosion near the entrance killed 13 visitors and injured 200 more. The bomb had been placed by 21-year-old Gundolf Köhler, member of neo-nazi organisations, who died at the scene.

Dates of next events:

Oktoberfest in other cities

The idea of Oktoberfest has spread from Munich to many other cities around the world with ethnic German populations. It may be celebrated any time from September to November.

The largest Oktoberfest outside Germany is held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over 500,000 people visited during the 2002 Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. Another large event is in Kitchener, Ontario around the time of Canadian Thanksgiving. The city of New Braunfels, Texas also holds an Oktoberfest, as does Mount Angel, Oregon, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the Bavarian-reproduction town of Helen, Georgia. A huge Oktoberfest is held in the Brazilian city of Blumenau, and many other Brazilian cities founded by Germans have their own Oktoberfest, such as Rolândia, São José do Cedro, Seara and Itapiranga. In Argentina, a town called Villa General Belgrano in the Cordoba province has an Oktoberfest that is well-known and the biggest in Argentina. Hong Kong celebrates the Oktoberfest since 1991 and it is organized by the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel.

Many other places have beer festivals, but generally reserve the name "Oktoberfest" for the Munich event.

External links