Oktoberfest is upon us!! Today kicked off the 200th wedding anniversary of Prince (later to become King) Ludwig I and his bride, Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen of Bavaria (try saying that 3 times fast, or even once slowly)… Question: if 100 years warrants a 10K diamond – and according to Google it does – what is the expected gift for 200 years??? I have not discovered the answer, but I suspect it is BIG!
Prince Ludwig I and Therese married in October of 1810, kicking off their new life together with a ‘little’ one-week long celebration. The entire town was invited, something unheard of in that day and age for a royal wedding. The wedding ceremony got the ball rolling on October 12th, and the festivities continued through the week, eventually being brought to a close with a horse race on October 17th. Thus began what many consider to be the most celebrated festival of the world. Oktoberfest has grown and evolved over the past two centuries and has expanded to countries all over the world. Munich locals call it ‘Die Wiesn’, referring to the meadow in which the royal couple was married…and where it is still held today. The horse race – a highlight of the earliest festivals – is no longer included in the many activities; however, many other traditions and events have taken its place. The ‘official tapping of the keg’ is one of the highlights…obviously beer-drinking is directly associated with Oktoberfest and has been an important part of its celebration since around 1818. And of course you really cannot have an authentic Oktoberfest without traditional folk music and men dressed in lederhosen and women in Bavarian dirndls.
I hear the rumblings of ‘but why is it called Oktoberfest when it is held in September?’…As you can see, it did originate in October and was held solely in October for many years. However, as it grew from one week into several it was decided to move the start date up to September. This allowed the festivities to be enjoyed during more favorable weather conditions. Now it begins the third Saturday of September and runs through the first Sunday of October. A special stein is designed each year, and this year’s stein features a portrait of the happy royal couple to commemorate their 200th anniversary. Since 1810 the festival has been held 177 times. Those years which did not see a festival were due to either war or cholera epidemics.
My posts over the next couple of weeks will delve deeper into the history and traditions of Oktoberfest. I will include information on traditional foods and drink served at the festival. My German heritage eagerly awaits this opportunity!
Until next time: Guten Appetit!
4 thoughts on “Schönes Jubiläum (‘happy anniversary’) to King Ludwig I and Therese!!”
Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of domsetic light beer. I rarely stray from these beers as well. But I am one for trying different beers in hope that I will find another beer to drink my stupidity away. Friday night, 2 friends and myself chipped in on a six pack of this Spaten Oktoberfest. We each poured a good half a bottle in our glasses and began with smelling the beer. It smelled light, crisp. I took the first taste, and my friends knowing me, expected me to make a bitter face. But I did not. I actually found this beer to be very pleasant to drink. It was smooth, and easy for me to enjoy. Only one of us three that night found the taste to be unpleasant, but everyone has different tastes. I’d like to thank Mike for mentioning this site and the suggestion of new beers for me to try, and look forward to this week’s beer of choice.
hi! im in karlsruhe for the year as an au pair as well and I just got here a liltte over a week ago. its been kinda lonely and boring so far. does it get better? right now im trying to take things in short goals, like in 2 months ill see how I feel and if I’ll want to go back home to chicago. what are your thoughts? did you ever feel like you werent going to survive a WHOLE YEAR? ahhh its so daunting.
nice article, keep the posts coming
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