19:00 – 23:00
- Solemn beer keg tapping by a representative of the brewery
- Welcome speech
- Performance by a German band with traditional Oktoberfest show
- Interactive program
Dress code: traditional Bavarian clothing, smart casual.
Restaurant “Alpenhaus” (Juzhnaja doroga 17, St. Petersburg)
Photos: Oktoberfest 2019
Can you guess, who is the founder of the Oktoberfest tradition? A king? A minister? In fact, he was just an ordinary Unteroffizier of the Bayern National Guard who set up the Oktoberfest tradition. Being also a highly creative individual, he also suggested that high-class horse race should be organized in honor of the wedding of Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Today Oktoberfest is the biggest folk festival in the world which attracts around 6 Million people annually. People from all over the world now attend the event – even counties as far as the U.S, Japan, Australia. The festival has become so popular that people celebrate it not only in Germany, but also in other countries. The Russian-German Chamber for Trade as a carrier of traditions has been holding Oktoberfest in Moscow simultaneously with the beer fest in Munich for several years in a raw. That’s why it is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate Oktoberfest for those who fail to be in Germany at this period of time for some reason.
It all started on October 17, 1810: in honor of the newly wedded couple who were married on October 12, high-class horse race took place for the first time and was a launch for Oktoberfest. Moreover, the celebration took place on the meadow of Therese, situated on the outskirts of Munich, and was duly named in honor that year.
The event was a great success. The following year everyone was sure: the show must be a part of local tradition. The Agricultural Association of Bayern took the lead and became the main organizer of the festival that year, benefiting from it through promoting and selling its agricultural products. 1813 was the first year without Oktoberfest due to the Napoleonic wars.
In its infancy Oktoberfest was organized by random private sponsors, until 1819, when the City Council of Munich decided to hold Oktoberfest annually, without exceptions. The event evolved and more and more tents, stands and carrousels were to be seen at this fest, which allowed Oktoberfest turned to a national folk festival.
In 1850 were given another great reason to celebrate: The Statue of Bavaria, Munich’s patron and symbol, was unveiled. Following then in 1881 the first smokehouse, where famous smoked chicken was served, opened its doors to the Oktoberfest visitors. It was during that period, where Oktoberfest developed its traditions which we have come to know nowadays. Electric lights illuminated the booths and carrousels, more and more showmen were attracted by the hustle and bustle and the large beer tents with folk bands were built instead of the small beer stands, due to the great demand and increasing number of the visitors. The title of the biggest Oktoberfest brewery belonged to Bräurosl with its capability to cater for 12.000 people, and in 1910 12.000 hektoliters Beer was sold there during Oktoberfest celebration, which then was a world record.
Unfortunately, World War I and World War II, as well as the economic recession in the inflation of the 1920s left Germany without its large-scale Oktoberfest celebration: small festivities in some cities could hardly be compared with traditional week-long national festivals of previous years. Since then, traditional horse races have been held only twice – in the years of jubilees: 1960 and 2010.
A famous tradition of the Bürgermeister opening the first beer barrel at Oktoberfest was set up in 1950, when Thomas Wimmer, the Mayor of Munich, ‘tapped’’ a beer barrel in Schottenhamel tent exclaiming “O’zapft is” (It’s tapped!). Since then every Oktoberfest starts with a host or a prominent guest carrying out this ritual.
Many people consider Oktoberfest to be a primarily a ‘beer festival’. One can hardly argue with the significant role of beer in the event, as well as with the fact that Oktoberfest can be a loud and boisterous occasion with music, songs, dance on the beer banks. On the other hand, we should not forget that it is at the same time a family festival, where people of all generations come to have fun and to spend time with their families and friends. That is why the owners of restaurants and breweries always are considerate enough to turn down the music after 22:00 and carefully listen to the requests of every guest and neighbor. Mutual respect and the right of every person to feel comfortable is another highly important principle of Oktoberfest.
Source: Datenwerk GmbH www.oktoberfest.de
Probably the most important question when putting your dirndl dress on: Where should you tie the bow of your apron?
How can the boys and gentlemen at the Oktoberfrest know a lady is willing to flirt or just want to remain on her own with a glass of beer?
Is the beautiful lady single or are you in for some trouble if you approach her?
The Germans have several special sayings at Oktoberfest. The first one is:
Bow on the left is good luck! …because if the bow of the apron is on the left side, the lady is single and you may go and try your luck!
Stay clear of bows on the right! A bow on the right is sad news for boys on the prowl: It signals that the lady is already taken or even married. So, hold your horses or you risk the peril of a slap on the wrist or even on the face.
There are more complicated situations, for example bow on the middle side of the dirndl. A bow in the middle is a sign for “somewhat taken but maybe single” or for some other confusion about the wearer’s relationship status. But traditionally most Germans interpret this sign as clearly telling you: Virgin!
Bow tied around the back? There are two possible explanations for an apron tied on the rear side:
Either the lady is a widow or a waitress. Try and assess the situation properly before offering your condolences to the waitress or tipping a widow!
Source: Datenwerk GmbH www.oktoberfest.de