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Has Oktoberfest Lost Its Traditions?

We all know that the Oktoberfest celebration originated in Germany and gradually became widely accepted around the globe. A lot of fun, music, foods, and drinks are available during this event. About 6 million people are estimated to attend annually. Lots of beer is served and close to 7 million liters of beer are consumed during this event. This globally recognized festival is organized between late September and early October and it lasts for duration of 16 days and ends on the first Sunday in October.

The Original

The celebration of Oktoberfest, which began in 1810 in Munich, has lasted about 200 years. It started when people in the city were called for a celebration at the wedding of a Bavarian Crown Prince named Ludwig and the Princess Theresa von Sachsen-Hildburgahausen. The newlyweds were also entertained with horse races attended by more than 40,000 spectators. Later, it was decided that the event should be observed once again in 1811, and this formed what is now known as the yearly Oktoberfest tradition. Each year, more and more activities are added, some weirder than others but all adding to the overall fun of the event.

The Modern Celebration

In modern times, tent proprietors and breweries in Munich do a parade before the event begins. As a sign of respect, the Munchner Kindl leads the parade followed by the city of mascot and a horse cart carrying the mayor of Munich. Trailing behind are tent proprietors and Munich breweries. According to tradition, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg of beer and exclaims `O’zapft is!’ This phrase means, in the Austro-Bavarian dialect, `it’s tapped,’ and the event commences.

A seven-kilometer costume parade is performed coupled with traditional costumes, musicians dancing and waving of the country’s flag. The first costume parade was organized in 1835 in honor of the 25th wedding anniversary of King Ludwig I and Theresa his wife. The food served at the event is typical German food. Of course, there are many German sausages and meats as well as pretzels and mustards. There are plenty of food options, snack and deserts as well.

But we all know what the main event is and why most people are going to the event, for the beer!

Attendees at the event finally settle down with beer. The usual beer served at the event includes a variety of Marze, a dark and fermented beer, laagered for 30 days, with 6% alcohol content. The alcohol used at the event follows the set rules of German standard which states the four necessary ingredients for beer brewing: barley, malt, hops, and yeast. Music is playing at the festival, also, with bass and folk music and other types played during the event. The traditional gun salute follows two weeks of food, concerts, and beer. This takes place at the steps of the Bavarian monument to mark the end of Oktoberfest.

While Oktoberfest has changed a lot over the years it still has the same roots and traditions of the first wedding celebration. There may be a few small adaptations to modernize the event, but we can clearly see that Oktoberfest has held itself to the traditions

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