Prost! The History of Germany's Oktoberfest

Since its first rendition over 200 years ago, Germany’s Oktoberfest has been synonymous with beer, bratwurst and lederhosen. Many beer lovers have dreamed of visiting Germany during the festival, or attended a similarly-inspired event in their own city. With celebrations going virtual this year, we thought we’d dive a little deeper into the world’s largest “Volkfest”, the festival today, and how you can join in the fun in a virtual way.

Oktoberfest Origins

The original Oktoberfest was held on October 12, 1810 to commemorate the marriage of Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. To ring in the occasion, Munich residents were invited to partake in a gigantic feast held at the fields outside of the Munich front gates. These fields are now known as “Theresienwiese” (or Therese’s fields) after the Princess. The festivities mainly revolved around horse races, but later expanded with an agricultural fair, rides, and beer.