Friday Facts 1: 21 Surprising Facts About Oktoberfest That You Didn’t Know


Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival, is known for its lively atmosphere, rich history, and of course, copious amounts of beer. But beyond the beer, pretzels, and traditional Bavarian music, there are numerous fascinating facts about Oktoberfest that you might not be aware of. In this blog, we’ll delve into 21 surprising and lesser-known tidbits about this iconic celebration.

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1. The Origins of Oktoberfest

While Oktoberfest is now synonymous with Munich, its origins date back to 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen celebrated their wedding with a public festival that eventually evolved into the Oktoberfest we know today.

2. Oktoberfest in September

Despite its name, the festival usually kicks off in September, with the main festivities starting in late September and extending into the first weekend in October.

3. A Brief Event

The modern Oktoberfest is considerably shorter than the original celebration, which lasted a full five days. Today, it spans roughly 16-18 days.

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4. Massive Beer Consumption

In 2019, approximately 7.3 million liters of beer were consumed at Oktoberfest, making it one of the largest beer events globally.

5. Traditional Beer

Only beer brewed within Munich’s city limits and conforming to the Reinheitsgebot (German beer purity law) can be served at Oktoberfest.

6. The Beer Tents

There are 14 large beer tents and 20 smaller ones at Oktoberfest. Each tent has its own unique atmosphere, decorations, and types of beer.

7. A Sea of Steins

The largest beer tent, the Hofbräu-Festzelt, can accommodate over 10,000 people and serves around 35,000 liters of beer per day.

8. Beer Prices

Beer at Oktoberfest isn’t cheap. In 2021, the average cost of a liter of beer was around 11 euros, and prices tend to increase slightly each year.

9. Bavarian Dress Code

Many locals and visitors don traditional Bavarian clothing. Lederhosen for men and dirndls for women are common sights at the festival.

10. Food, Glorious Food

Beyond beer, Oktoberfest features an array of traditional Bavarian foods, including sausages, pretzels, roasted chicken, and sauerkraut.

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11. Strong Security Presence

Due to its sheer size and popularity, Oktoberfest boasts a robust security presence, with police, medical teams, and security personnel on-site.

12. Beer Maid Race

One of the more unusual events is the annual “Bierleichen” race, where waitresses carrying beer steins compete in a race while balancing a tray of beer.

13. Roller Coasters and Carnivals

In addition to beer and food, Oktoberfest features a sizable funfair with rides and attractions, providing entertainment for visitors of all ages.

14. Non-Alcoholic Options

If you’re not a beer enthusiast, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available at Oktoberfest, including soda and water.

15. Historical Parade

The first Sunday of Oktoberfest features a traditional costume parade showcasing around 9,000 participants dressed in historical costumes.

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16. Mustard Madness

Over 70,000 liters of sweet mustard are consumed at the festival each year, mostly accompanying sausages and pretzels.

17. Historical Beer Prices

The first Oktoberfest in 1810 saw beer prices set at one Gulden per Maß (equivalent to today’s liter). Now, they’re significantly higher.

18. Lost and Found

The festival’s lost and found department collects thousands of items each year, including countless dirndls, Lederhosen, and, of course, lost cell phones.

19. Silent Fireworks

The last night of Oktoberfest features “silent fireworks” to avoid disturbing nearby animals and residents.

20. Environmental Efforts

In recent years, Oktoberfest has been making strides to become more environmentally friendly by using eco-friendly plates and utensils and promoting recycling.

21. Oktoberfest Worldwide

While Munich hosts the most famous Oktoberfest, similar celebrations are held worldwide, from Cincinnati to Beijing, embracing the Bavarian spirit and beer culture.


Oktoberfest is more than just a beer festival; it’s a rich cultural event with a long history and numerous fascinating aspects. From its origins in 1810 to its modern incarnation, Oktoberfest has evolved into an international celebration of Bavarian culture, marked by its vibrant atmosphere, traditional costumes, and, of course, abundant beer. Whether you’re planning to attend Oktoberfest in Munich or a local spin-off, these 21 surprising facts will undoubtedly enhance your appreciation for this iconic event. Prost!

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