Oktoberfest is an autumnal, Bavarian tradition with a rich history going back over two hundred years. These days, Oktoberfest is iconic in its worldwide reputation as a celebration of the season as well as some of the best food and of course beer that the Bavaria section of Germany has to offer. Oktoberfest takes place over 16 days starting in late September and running until the first weekend in October.

The seeds of what is now Oktoberfest were planted on October 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of what was then the independent state of Bulgaria married Princess Therese in Munich. The citizens of Munich gathered to celebrate the wedding on the fields in front of the city gates. The royal wedding was a cause for celebration throughout Bavaria, and the festivities included a massive parade starting on Maximilian Street and horse races to mark the end of the wedding. The decision to continue the horse races and the festivities in 1811 as an annual tradition is what eventually gave rise to the Oktoberfest that we know today. The celebration evolved throughout the nineteenth century, and although the most popular event was the horse races those are no longer held at modern day Oktoberfests. However, in 1881 bratwurst was sold for the first time at Oktoberfest. This proved to be a very popular addition, of course, but maybe not as popular what was introduced to Oktoberfest for the very first time in 1889: the beer tent and the beer hall.

Although beer had been available at small stands at Oktoberfest starting in 1818, the advent of the Oktoberfest beer tent turned out to be a defining moment for the festival. At the 100th Oktoberfest in 1910 120,000 litres of beer were poured during the course of the festival. The first 140 years of Oktoberfest included a handful of cancellations of the festivities due to war and national turmoil, but over the last half century Oktoberfest has been an annual festival, and has grown to international fame with many “satellite” Oktoberfest held throughout the world. Every Oktoberfest since 1950 has begun at midnight with a twelve-gun salute and the mayor of Munich tapping the first keg and yelling “O’ zapft ist!” (“It’s tapped!”). What follows is a massive festival of rides, entertainment, food, and beer. Beer served at Oktoberfest must conform to the “Bavarian Purity Law” first put forward in 1487. Even those that are not fans of beer have a great time at Oktoberfest. With the great food, authentic Bavarian music and costumes, and a festive atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else, it’s no wonder Oktoberfest attracts five million people a year. This article was written by ezCater.com. For more information on Oktoberfest and other food festivals and to order classic German food from Newark catering or your local area visit.