10 Crazy Facts You Didn't Know About Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is one of the world's greatest celebrations. When you find yourself sitting at a table in Munich during this year's festivities, here are 10 crazy facts you can talk about with all the people you'll meet.

1. THE FIRST CELEBRATION IN 1810 WAS HELD JUST OUTSIDE THE GATES OF THE CITY, AND EVERYONE IN MUNICH WAS INVITED. THE FIELDS WERE RENAMED THERESIENWIESE IN THE BRIDE'S HONOR.

2. OKTOBERFEST IS ALSO PARTLY A COUNTY FAIR. EVERY THREE YEARS, THE CELEBRATION IS COMBINED WITH AN AGRICULTURAL SHOW WHICH HIGHLIGHTS THE BEST (AND TASTIEST!) CREATIONS FROM THE FARMS AND FIELDS OF BAVARIA.

3. WARS AND ECONOMICS PUT A STOP TO THE FESTIVAL. FROM 1914-18, 1923-24, AND AGAIN FROM 1939-45, THE PARTY WAS PUT ON HOLD. IN THE YEARS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE WARS AND ECONOMIC CRISIS, THE PARTY WAS SCALED BACK AS BAVARIA REGAINED ITS ECONOMIC FOOTING.

4. O'ZAPFT IS! (OR, "IT'S TAPPED!") IS THE ORDER DELIVERED BY THE MAYOR TO TAP THE FIRST KEG OF OKTOBERFEST. THIS TRADITION BEGAN IN 1950 AND SIGNALS THE OFFICIAL START OF THE CELEBRATIONS.

5. 2014 was the biggest festival to date with more than 7.7 million liters of beer poured and drank by happy revelers. In 2017, that dropped to just over 7 million, but there is always this year to try for the record again!

6. BEER WASN'T PART OF THE FESTIVAL FOR THE FIRST EIGHT YEARS OF THE CELEBRATION'S HISTORY. IT WAS ONLY ADDED IN 1818 WHEN CITY OFFICIALS DECIDED TO ADD FOOD AND DRINK. TO THIS DAY, THE RULES OF THE CELEBRATION STIPULATE THAT ALL THE BEER SERVED AT THE PARTY MUST BE BREWED BY BREWERIES LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS.

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7. 12,000 — THAT'S HOW MANY PEOPLE COULD PULL UP A SEAT AND HOIST A STEIN WITHIN THE LARGEST BEER TENT IN THE FESTIVAL'S HISTORY. SET UP IN 1913 BY THE PSCHORR BREWERY, THE COMPANY (NOW MERGED WITH HACKER AND KNOWN AS HACKER-PSCHORR) REMAINS ONE OF SIX BREWERIES THAT PROVIDES BEVERAGES FOR THE FESTIVAL. THE LARGEST TENT IN MODERN TIMES IS OPERATED BY THE HOFBRAU-FESTHALLE, WHICH HOLDS ABOUT 10,000 REVELERS.

8. 1913 WAS ALSO THE LAST YEAR FOR THE ANNUAL HORSE RACE, WHICH WAS A CAPSTONE EVENT OF THE CELEBRATION AND SAW RIDERS DRESSING UP IN A WIDE VARIETY OF COSTUMES RANGING FROM COURT JESTERS TO CHIVALROUS KNIGHTS. THE LAST HORSE RACE WAS HELD IN 2010 DURING THE 200TH-ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, AND WHILE THERE ARE NO PLANS TO BRING IT BACK AS A REGULAR PART OF THE FESTIVAL, YOU WILL SEE IMAGES AND HONORARIUMS TO THE RACES OF THE PAST SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL.

9. THE RED CROSS IS ON HAND TO DELIVER A HELPING HAND TO THOSE WHO LOSE THEIR BALANCE. EACH YEAR, AN AVERAGE OF 7,000 PARTY GOERS STOP BY THE RED CROSS TENT FOR EVERYTHING FROM BANDAGES TO BEDS WHERE THEY CAN SLEEP OFF THEIR HANGOVERS.

10. BACKPACKS AND PARIS HILTON ARE BANNED FROM THE CELEBRATIONS. IN 2007, THE SOCIALITE WAS BANNED FROM THE CELEBRATION WHILE DRESSING UP TO PROMOTE WINE, AND IN 2016, BACKPACKS WERE BANNED IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE (AND MAKE IT HARDER FOR FESTIVAL GOERS TO STEAL THEIR STEINS), WHICH ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE FESTIVAL.

Want to go to Oktoberfest? We'll show you the time of your life as you enjoy the sights, sounds, and savory delights of Bavaria. When you decide to experience the world's most famous wedding celebration, contact Wanderlist Tours and we'll make all the arrangements!