Oktoberfest is an annual event that is held in Munich, Germany and is one of the largest and most famous beer festivals in the world. Despite its name, Oktoberfest is actually held in September, which may seem confusing to many people. In this article, we will explore the reasons why Oktoberfest is held in September rather than October.
The origins of Oktoberfest can be traced back to October 12th, 1810, when a grand celebration was held in Munich to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities lasted for five days and were held on a meadow outside the city gates, which was later named Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Meadow) in honor of the princess. The event was so successful that it was repeated every year, with additional activities and attractions added over time.
So why is Oktoberfest now held in September instead of October? The answer lies in the weather. While October can be a beautiful month in Germany, it is also notoriously unpredictable, with frequent rain and cold temperatures. In the early years of Oktoberfest, it was held in October, but the weather often put a damper on the festivities, causing delays and cancellations. In 1872, the decision was made to move the festival earlier in the year, to take advantage of the warmer and more stable weather in late September.
Another factor that contributed to the decision to move Oktoberfest to September was the calendar. The festival always begins on the second-to-last Saturday in September and ends on the first Sunday in October. This means that the festival is typically held for 16 or 17 days, depending on the calendar year. By holding the festival in September, it allows for a longer period of daylight hours, which is important for the many outdoor activities and attractions that are part of Oktoberfest.
Today, Oktoberfest attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year, who come to enjoy the traditional Bavarian food, music, and, of course, beer. The festival has become a major cultural event, not just in Germany, but around the world, with similar celebrations held in cities and towns throughout Europe and North America.
In conclusion, Oktoberfest is held in September instead of October due to the more favorable weather conditions at that time of year, as well as the longer period of daylight hours. While the name of the festival may seem misleading, the tradition of celebrating with beer, food, and merriment has remained unchanged for over 200 years.